Showing Respect for Our Flag...

Besides U.S. flags, Harbortown Flag carries many other styles and types of flags. . . State and Territory, Foreign Nations, Sports, Boating, Armed Forces, Corporate & Collegiate, attention-getting pennants, banners and message flags, brightly colored special occasion, holiday, and seasonal banners, bunting fans. . . There are many ways to Show Your Colors, but there are specific "rules" to follow for showing respect to our U.S. flag, both in handling the flag and in its presentation. This is also known as PROPER FLAG ETIQUETTE :
It is proper to display the U.S. flag only from sunrise to sunset when flown outdoors. If it is properly illuminated, the flag may be flown during the hours of darkness as well.

When against a wall or window (1), the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, the observer's left, whether horizontal or vertical. From a window, the observer is considered as being on the outside.

Except for certain specific circumstances, no other flag, banner or pennant should be displayed in such a way as to remove the U.S. flag from the position of superior prominence. An exception to this rule is the United Nations flag flown at the U.N. Headquarters.
Although it is becoming common practice for flags to be flown oversized, there is a proper formula for the correct flag size for outdoor display. 3x5' is the most common size for a U.S. flag displayed from the front of a house. For a ground pole, the length of the flag should be approximately 1/4 the length of the flagpole. For example, a 30' pole would fly a 5x8' flag.
When other flags such as state, city, or corporate flags are flown on the same pole (2), the U.S. flag is displayed at the uppermost position, or peak.

When our flag is in motion (being raised or lowered, passing by in a parade, etc.), all eyes should be on the flag; military personnel salute with the right hand at the forehead, civilians with their hands over their hearts, men removing their hats. All persons should also face the flag, stand at attention, and salute when the National Anthem is played, and during reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance.

When displayed over the middle of the street, the flag should be suspended vertically, with the union to the North on an east-west street, and to the East on a north-south street. If the flag is to be suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a building to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out from the building toward the pole, union first.
When other flags such as foreign flags are flown from adjacent staffs (3), the U.S. flag takes lead position, is hoisted first, and is lowered last.
As a sign of mourning, the flag can be flown at half-staff on Memorial Day, in the event of the death of a government official, including those of states, territories or possessions of the United States, and by order of the President upon the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries as well. The flag should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant, and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day, the flag is displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff.
When used to cover a casket, the flag is placed so that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground. The casket should be carried foot-first from the hearse to the grave.
When the U.S. flag is being displayed against a wall with another flag from crossed staffs (4), it should be on it's own right (the observer's left), and its staff should be placed in front of the other flag's staff. In this case, the union will appear to the observer in the uppermost right corner, rather than to the flag's own right.
The U.S. flag always takes the lead position in parades . It should be carried before (in front of) all other flags. If it is carried in a column instead, it should be the farthest to the right (the observer's left), or the U.S. flag should be centered and carried above all others, slightly in front of all other flags. The U.S. flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but should be held aloft and floating freely.
When displayed in a grouping (5) on staffs with other flags, the U.S. flag should be at the center and at the highest point.
You should never let the flag touch the ground or floor. If a flag is too large for one person to handle, two people should hold and fold the flag. The flag should never be tilted (dipped) to any person or thing. It should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress. This should never be performed as a joke. The flag should never have objects placed on or over it, or be used as a covering for a ceiling. The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, work, figure, picture, or drawing of any nature placed upon or attached to it. The flag should never be used as a receptacle for carrying anything, or be used to cover a statue or monument, such as for unveiling ceremonies. The flag should never be used as drapery, festooned, or drawn back or up in folds, but always allowed to fall free. For such purposes of decoration, as a covering for a speaker's desk, or draping the front of a platform, bunting fans should be used.
When flying flags of two or more nations (6), they should be flown from separate staffs of same height, and should be of approximately equal size, the U.S. flag taking the lead position. Some individuals choose to fly foreign nation flags below the U.S. flag to show respect for their countries of heritage, but international usage forbids the display of one nation's flag above that of another in time of peace.
When displayed flat for use at a speaker's platform , the U.S. flag should be above and behind the speaker, and should be positioned (as shown in 1) above for wall placement. When displayed from a staff in a church, auditorium, or office (7), the flag should hold the position of superior prominence, in front of the audience, and at the speaker's right as he/she faces the audience. Any other flag should be placed on the left of the speaker, or the right of the audience.


Flags should be kept clean, and to show proper respect, should be repaired or replaced when frayed or faded. For longer life, do not display the flag in extremely severe weather. Some materials are stronger than others, but all materials are abused by sun, winds and rain, and they will shorten a flag's life span.
When it's time to dispose of your old flag due to soiling, wear, or damage, and it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, make sure it is done properly and with respect. The flag should always be destroyed in a dignified manner. Many people turn in their retired flags to us, and we donate them to the Boy Scouts to perform flag burning ceremonies. This not only disposes of the flag properly, but it teaches our younger generation proper respect for our flag.
How long should a flag last?   There are several factors to consider.  Flag life depends on the flag's material, weather conditions, location, airborne pollutants/dirt, and how often the flag is flown.  Whether your flag is nylon, polyester, or any other material, it is a piece of cloth that snaps, chafes, bakes, freezes, flutters, furls, unfurls, twists, flaps, strains, flies, and hangs.  With all of that work, flags flown on a regular basis can't be expected to last for years.  Flags that are flown every day, all day, will not last as long as those flown part-time.  A flag flown from a ground pole is more exposed to the factors that weaken it, and it will not last as long as a flag hung from a pole on the front of your home.  The more your flag is subjected to, the shorter its life span.  Because the combined factors that influence the life of a flag are not exactly the same in any two locations, no two flags will wear identically.
To add longer life to your flag, don't add abuse by allowing it to fly during extremely severe weather conditions.  Keep the flagpole clean, and keep branches and other obstructions away from the flag so it can fly freely.  Occasionally wash your flag in warm mild detergent water.  This prevents pollutants and dirt from weakening the fabric.  To prevent mildew, let your flag dry thoroughly before storing it.  Larger flags can be repaired at the first signs of fraying, but if not caught early, once fraying reaches a certain point, your flag needs to be replaced.  Inspect your flag regularly for damage that can be repaired if caught in the early stages.  An added step for protection is to use a product that will both waterproof the material and protect your flag from the sun's UV rays, such as 303 Fabric Guard.®

Patriotism isn't just for “flag holidays” - Show your colors proudly every day!
But if you want to know when to fly the flag, and when to display the flag at half-staff, it is particularly appropriate to display the flag on these days:  

New Year's Day - January 1
Martin Luther King Day - Third Monday in January
Inauguration Day - January 20
Lincoln's Birthday - February 12
Washington's Birthday - Third Monday in February (President’s Day)
Easter Sunday - (variable)
Mother's Day - Second Sunday in May
Peace Officers Memorial Day - (half-staff) - May 15
Armed Forces Day - Third Saturday in May
Memorial Day - (half-staff until noon) - Last Monday in May
D-Day - June 6
Flag Day - June 14
Father's Day - Third Sunday in June
Independence Day - July 4
Korean War Veterans Day - (half-staff) - July 27
Labor Day - First Monday in September
Patriot Day* - (half-staff) September 11
Constitution Day - September 17
Gold Star Mothers Day - Last Sunday in September
Columbus Day - Second Monday in October
Navy Day - October 27
Election Day - First Tuesday in November
Veterans Day - November 11
Thanksgiving Day - Fourth Thursday in November
Pearl Harbor Day - (half-staff) - December 7
Christmas Day - December 25
State Birthdays/Holidays - (variable)

Other days As may be proclaimed by the President of the United States

Daily On or near the main administration building of public institutions

* On December 18, 2001, President Bush signed Public Law No: 107-89, designating September 11 as Patriot Day to honor the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks on that date in 2001. The U.S. flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sundown, (not just until noon as is done on Memorial Day). The people of the United States are asked to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims.

Patriot Day should not be confused with Patriot’s Day, a regional holiday celebrated in New England on the third Monday in April, which commemorates Paul Revere’s ride and the battle of Lexington & Concord during the Revolutionary War.