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Flag Etiquette:
Standards of Respect

Standards of Respect 

Formalizing and unifying the traditional ways in which we give respect to our national flag, the Flag Code also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. Listed are some of the specific instructions:
  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.

  • The flag is not be meant to be used as a drapery, and should never be used for draping  or covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general.

  • Marks, insignia, letters, words, numbers, figures, or drawings should never  be placed on the flag or attached to the flag.

  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.

  • 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, firefighters, police officers and members of patriotic organizations.

  • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything. When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received with respect with attentive hands and arms. The flag should be folded neatly and ceremoniously when readied for storage. When necessary, the flag should be cleaned and mended. Worn flags no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.


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