A Patriot’s Guide on How to Properly Hang an American Flag


Did you know there is a proper way to hang an American flag?

Each country has a unique flag etiquette. Flag etiquette tells you the right way to display, use, and dispose of your national flag.

A flag is crucial to a country because it signifies they’re a free country. It also shows there’s peace and unity in a country. If you’re a patriot, knowing how to display the American flag is only one way of showing your love for your country.

Continue reading this guide and learn the proper way of hanging the American flag.

Basic Etiquette

Before learning how to hang an American flag, it’s crucial to understand basic etiquette first.

Don’t let the flag touch the ground when trying to hoist or fold it. It’s best to keep the American flag during inclement weather to avoid it from tearing. There is a proper way to fold the flag, and it requires showing the union.

Raising the American flag needs to be fast. On the other hand, you need to slow down when lowering it. You salute on the flag until it unsnaps from the halyard or when the national anthem ends.

The government of the United States created a law on how to give respect to the American flag.

1. On the Pole

The union of the American flag must be on the upper-left, from your point of view when you hang it on a pole. The canton of the flag is the blue field with 50 stars on it.

You place the American flag the highest when there are more flags displayed on a single pole. The flag should be the same size or bigger than the other flags. The other flags displayed with the American flag may consist of state and military flags.

Always hang an American flag at the center when displayed with other state flags. Present the flags where the U.S. flag is higher than the rest. You can’t display any flag above the American flag or any to its right when in a straight line.

Raise the American flag first before the others. Then, lower it last when displayed on adjacent poles.

The American flag must have the same size and hang at the same height when with international flags. It’s improper to put one’s national flag above the other nations.

2. On the Street

It’s basic etiquette to suspend the American flag in a vertical manner when displayed on the street. The union must face north when in an east-west street and face east in a north-south street.

You display the flag farthest from the building when on the sidewalk. You hoist it out, the union going first, away from the building.

3. Hang on a Staff

Place the union of the American flag at the staff’s peak when hanging at an angle in a window sill or front of a building. Apply this when the flag isn’t at half-mast.

4. During Procession

There’s etiquette when hanging an American flag during a procession. The flag must be at the marching right in a parade with other flags.

Place the American flag in front and at the center when there is a line of other flags.

5. On a Car

Display the American flag using a firm staff. Clamp it on the right fender of the car.

6. When at Night

It’s a custom to display the flag of the United States of America from sunrise to sunset only in the open. Lowering it shows respect towards Old Glory or the American flag.

However, they allow displaying the flag at night when illuminated to show patriotism. It makes the flag visible even at night and gives respect to it.

7. Indoor Events

There are instances where you hang an American flag during an indoor event. Display the flag on the podium or stage using a staff. Place the flag on the right side of the speaker, which is the left of the audience.

It shows the superior prominence of the flag. Keep in mind that the American flag must stay on its right and in the position of honor.

You place the other flags presented on the left side of the speaker, which is the right of the audience. When hanging against the wall, it should lay flat above and behind the speaker.

8. Crossed Staff

You may be wondering how to display an American flag when crossed with another.

As mentioned, you place the flag of the United States of America on its right. You display the other flag on the left side. Then, make it cross each other.

It’s vital to note that the staff used for the American flag is on the front of the staff of the other flag.

9. Displayed on the Wall

The union should be at the upper-right corner of the flag when hanging American flags vertically or horizontally against the wall. The blue field is on the left side of the observer.

You apply this manner when displaying your flag at your window, too. Thus, when seen outside, the canton is at the top-left corner from an outsider’s point of view. The flag is in the upper-right corner from your perspective.

10. Half-Staff

The purpose of putting flags at half-staff is to show mourning or sadness on someone’s passing. Flag on half-mast gives respect in memory of tragic events such as the memorial and pearl harbor day. Expect to see flags on half-staff when one principal figure has passed away.

Raise the flag in an instant to the peak before lowering it to the half-mast position. A half-staff position is half the distance of the pole or staff. Hoist the flag again to its peak before lowering it at the end of the day.

Proper Ways to Hang an American Flag

Now you know how to hang an American flag. Remember to prevent the flag from touching the ground when you try to display or fold it.

Use this guide to review the basic rules of hanging an American flag. Looking for more content like this? Check out our other blog posts for more great content.