What Is The Protocol For Displaying Flags

What Is The Protocol For Displaying Flags? Quick Guide

Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Since the dawn of history, flags and banners have symbolized hope and belief.

From medieval castles to modern city halls, flags and banners have held great power in celebrating ideals and forging connections among people. 

Whether you’re involved with a nonprofit organization raising awareness about an issue or an event coordinator soliciting funds for a special occasion, understanding the protocols for displaying flags and banners is essential to leverage them as a resource successfully. 

Let’s explore some of the most important protocols concerning proper flag etiquette – because even something as simple as honoring another nation’s flag can show an incredible amount of respect.

Respect All Flags & Banners From All Nation

American Flag on a Pole

Respecting all flags and banners from all nations is a sign of good sportsmanship and a recognition of the diversity of cultures in our world. 

Whether we agree with the politics or history behind a flag, respecting what it represents is crucial in promoting peace and understanding among different nations. 

Each flag and banner tells the story of a unique and interesting history, culture [1], and people. 

Flying a national flag is a way to show patriotism and pride in one’s country, and even if we do not agree with certain actions or beliefs of a particular government, it is important to recognize the hard work, dedication, and sacrifices of its citizens. 

By respecting all flags and banners from all nations, we can come together as a global community to celebrate our differences and build a more peaceful and harmonious world.

Properly Display The U.S. Flag With Other Flags On A Single Staff Or Pole

Properly displaying the American flag is a tribute to the brave men and women who fought for our independence and should be expected to be rewarded with respect. 

It can be tricky, however, when the U.S. flag is displayed with other flags on a single staff or pole. 

Here are some key guidelines to follow:

  • If a state flag is also being flown, it should be below the U.S. flag.
  • If flags of other nations are flown, they should be on poles of equal height.
  • If banners or pennants are flown, they should be below the flag of the United States. 

For instance, the folks behind Ultimate Flags LLC understand the importance of properly displaying the American flag and offer a range of high-quality flags and accessories to help you do so with pride. 

Remember, displaying the U.S. flag properly is not only patriotic, but it’s also required by federal law. So let’s all show our respect for our country by flying the American flag correctly.

But what does each color in the Pride flag mean?

Properly Display The State, Territorial & Municipal Flags With Respect To The U.S. Flag

Flags of Different Countries

When displaying the American flag alongside other flags, certain guidelines must be followed to ensure it is properly honored. 

This includes the placement of the U.S. flag at the center and the highest point, with the other flags at equal heights on either side. 

The state flag is typically displayed to the left of the U.S. flag, while the municipal flag is displayed to the right. 

The territorial flags are displayed after all the flags of states and municipalities have been arranged. 

By following these conventions, we pay tribute to those who fought to defend the American flag and show appreciation for what it represents – the freedom and democracy we cherish.

Display Any National Flag On A Separate Staff When Multiple Flags Are Raised

To properly display any national flag, it should be placed on a separate staff. This shows respect towards each country. 

When flying the American flag [2], for example, it should always be in the center and raised first. 

The other flag should be raised at the same height and on a staff that is either at the same level or slightly lower as a sign of respect for the first flag. 

Doing so shows that each country is being given proper recognition and acknowledgment. 

No matter the occasion, it is important to follow these guidelines and show respect toward all nationalities being represented.

You might also want to read about things to bring for the 4th of July party here.

Ensure That No Flag Is Flown Higher Than the U.S. Flag Except as Specified by United States Code

It is important to ensure that no flag is flown higher than the U.S. flag, as United States Code specifies. 

Whether on a flagpole outside a government building or in someone’s backyard, the U.S. flag should always be shown the respect it deserves. 

And while there are certain exceptions, such as during a funeral or when the U.S. flag is flown with a state or organization’s flag, it is important to remember that the U.S. flag should never be overshadowed or disrespected in any way. 

By keeping this code in mind, we are showing our loyalty to our country and paying tribute to the sacrifices made by countless men and women who have fought to defend our freedoms. 

So let us always remember the true meaning and importance of our nation’s most cherished symbol: the U.S. flag.

Honor Each Flag or Banner by Removing Them Respectfully & Disposing of Them Appropriately

When you see a flag or banner in a public space, it symbolizes something important. It could represent a country, a community, or a cause. 

Whatever it signifies, it deserves to be treated with honor and respect. That means that when the time comes to remove it, you should do so in a manner that reflects its significance. 

Don’t simply toss it aside or let it fall to the ground. Instead, take the time to retire it according to your country’s customs properly. 

This could involve burning it ceremonially or depositing it in a special facility designed for flag disposal. 

By doing so, you’re showing your appreciation for the meaning behind the flag or banner and demonstrating your commitment to honoring the things that matter most. 

So next time you encounter a flag or banner that needs to be taken down, take a moment to reflect on what it stands for and do the right thing by disposing of it respectfully.

Also Read: Where Do You Go For The 4th Of July Weekend?


Can you leave a flag out when it’s raining?

It’s typically advised not to leave a flag out when it’s raining or not be subject to weather damage, especially if it’s made of materials that could get damaged or faded due to moisture.

What are the rules for lighting a flag?

Flags are usually displayed from sunset to dawn but must be properly lit with a spotlight or floodlight at night. 

Final Thoughts

The honorable display of flags and banners from countries worldwide should be respected and appreciated. 

Respect is due to the U.S. flag and all other flags since each contains a distinctive history and symbolizes something special for its citizens. 

Ensure that any banners flown are treated respectfully and disposed of properly once taken down, signifying your respect for those flags – no matter their origin!


Kimberlee Johnson
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