How to fly the American flag on Memorial Day


(ABC4) — Memorial Day, which takes place on the last Monday in May each year, honors those who have died in American conflicts. To mark the day, you may be wondering how to fly the American flag?

Thankfully, we have the United States Code to officially address dozens of subjects, including how Old Glory should be flown on days like Memorial Day.

On Memorial Day, the flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon only. Then, it should be “raised briskly” to the top of the staff until sunset, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In addition to flying the American flag properly on Memorial Day, it’s a good idea to understand general flag display guidelines for the rest of the year, courtesy of American Flagpole & Flag Co:

  1. The American flag should only be displayed from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. If properly illuminated during the night hours, the flag may be displayed for 24 hours.
  2. When raising the flag, it should be done briskly. When lowering, it should be done ceremoniously.
  3. Displaying the flag against a wall? The union—the stars—should be in the top left corner.
  4. Displaying in a window? Keep the stars in the upper left corner from the outside, the perspective of people on the street looking into the window.
  5. While no flag or pennant should be placed above the U.S. flag, there is an exception: During church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea for personnel of the Navy, the church pennant may be flown above the flag.
  6. There are only a handful of times when the U.S. flag should be flown at half-staff
    1. May 15: Peace Officers Memorial Day
    2. Memorial Day, when it is flown at half-staff until noon only
    3. July 27: Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
    4. September 11: Patriot Day
    5. December 7: Pearl Harbor Day
    6. By order of the president as a mark of respect for a death or tragedy

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