US Flag Code
Displaying the Flag of the United States of America: Standards of Respect
Help Protect the Flag - Citizens Flag Alliance
The Flag Code - Title 36, U.S.C., Chapter 10 - formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, and also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used.
For more information about the flag, including the Flag Code, Pledge of Allegiance, folding the flag, and more, visit www.legion.org and select "Flag" on the menu.
Displaying the Flag Outdoors
When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies (to include the POW-MIA flag,) on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor - to its own right. (This means that, when flying the flag from the back of a motorcycle along with the POW-MIA flag, the United States flag should be displayed on the rider's right - or, throttle - side of the bike.)
The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
No other flag ever should be placed above it.
The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised (or attached to bike,) and the last to be lowered.
When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height; each flag should be the same size, and they should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.
The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar (or motorcycle,) the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
Raising and Lowering the Flag
Ordinarily, the flag should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be put away or furled (rolled up) at night. The flag should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.
Care, Maintenance and Disposal of the Flag
The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.
Note: Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Contact your local post to inquire about this service.
Parading and Saluting the Flag
When carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers (this includes display from vehicles, such as cars and motorcycles.) When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.
To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart.
Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.
The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem
The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.