Flying an American flag from your porch or in your yard is a time-honored way to show your patriotism. If you're not careful, though, you could inadvertently show disrespect for the flag by failing to follow proper flag etiquette. Fortunately, the rules for flying the American flag outside of your home are easy to learn and follow.

Americans Flag Dos

Fly the American flag from sunrise to sunset. If you choose to fly your flag at night, make sure that it is well lit. The union -- the blue field with white stars -- should always be flown at the top and next to the flag pole. If you hang a flag on a wall or drape it from a windowsill, the union must be to the top and on the flag's own right -- so that the union appears on the top left when someone looks directly at the flag.

American Flag Don'ts

Do not fly other flags above or to the right of the American flag. Never decorate or write on the American flag. Don't fly the flag at half-mast except from sunrise to noon on Memorial Day, Patriot Day or a day specially designated by your governor or the president of the United States. When you fly the flag at half-mast, raise it to full-mast, then lower it back down to half-mast. Do not fly your American flag in inclement weather unless it has been designated an all-weather flag.