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10 Facts to Unfurl Your Flag Awareness

Learn more about Old Glory, and how to care for it

Since its adoption by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777, the United States flag is more than just a symbol. It is a living testament to the courageous Americans who fought and sacrificed for the nation and the freedoms it upholds.

National Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. With regard to the display, etiquette, and disposal of the American flag, here are some helpful tips from the Florida Department of State website.

  • Unfurl and then hoist the flag by hand until it reaches the top of the flagpole. Lower the flag slowly, and receive it without it touching the ground. Traditionally, the flag should be flown between sunrise and sunset.
  • When it is displayed on the same flagpole with another flag of a state or county, the American flag must always be hoisted first to the top of the pole and lowered last. The state flag is displayed second, and the county flag third.
  • For days when it is flown at half-mast, the flag should be raised to the top for a moment, then lowered to the half-mast position. At the end of the day, raise the flag to the top once again, then lower it to be collected and stored.
  • When using crossed staffs, the American flag should be on the right, with the other flag on the left. The flag's staff should be in front of the other flag. If there are three flags displayed from crossed staffs, the American flag should be at the center, or the highest point.
  • If you want to hang the American flag in a window, position the blue field in the upper left, as seen from the street.
  • If the American flag is in a procession, it should be to the right side of the marchers. If there is a line of flags, it should be in front.
  • Be sure to seek assistance when folding the flag. First, hold it waist high, then fold it half-length-wise twice over the field of stars, with the blue field facing the bottom. Then, make a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to meet the top edge of the flag. Turn the end point inward to form a second triangle. The triangular folding is continued until the entire length of the flag is folded. A triangular blue field of stars should be visible.
  • A flag that is damaged beyond repair should be destroyed in a flag burning ceremony. Many organizations conduct these ceremonies, such as the American Legion and the Boy and Girl Scouts of America.
  • For events that include a guest speaker, the American flag is always positioned to the speaker's right. Other flags should be on the left.
  • When displaying the American flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the blue field should be at the upper top to the observer's left.

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