How to Correctly Hang American Flags

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There is a proper way to hang American flags. This is written in a flag code which can be found in the U.S. Code (See Resources section). While there is a flag code, there are no penalties for hanging the flag incorrectly. Correctly hanging the American flag is a sign of respect for American citizens and the soldiers who have died to protect the nation. Hanging the American flag correctly is easy once you know the steps. Here is how to correctly hang American flags.

1 Hang the flag so that the union

Hang the flag so that the union, the corner with the stars, is in the upper left hand corner facing those who are looking at it. When used behind a podium, it should be above and behind the speaker. When used in a church or auditorium the flag should be to the left of the podium as seen by those who are looking at it. When hung above a street it must clear all wires and be centered in the view of the street.

2 Hang the flag

Hang the flag so that it does not touch anything below the flag. This includes floors, steps or people passing under it. If the flag is in a hallway, it must face the main entrance. The flag should always be above people.

3 Place the American flag

Place the American flag in a respectful position in regards to other flags. When hung with another flag it should be no lower than the other flag and placed to the left of the other flag. When hung with multiple flags it is to be in the center and higher than other flags.

4 Hang the flag with sturdy rope or string

Hang the flag with sturdy rope or string. Do not use wires, tape, tacks or nails, which restrict the flag. Do not nail or tack the flag to a wall or structure. The flag must hang freely.

5 Never hang the flag upside down

Never hang the flag upside down. This is a sign for distress, meaning there is a problem and help is needed. This can also be seen as a sign of disrespect by those in military service.

6 Do not post signs

Do not post signs or other items on or around the flag. The flag should hang alone as a symbol of the nation. Using signs or other items around or on the flag reduces the flag to the status of advertisement.