How and When to Display the American Flag

America: the soul of our nation.
Ever notice how spirited, charming, and just plain cute Main Street, U.S.A., can be? If not, while you're out this month vacationing and visiting those little home towns ... try to get back your patriotic spirit and take notice of all the flags flown (it happens to be what makes those towns so cute in the first place). Once home, if you don't already... you'll want to fly your own.
First though, you'll need to know the rules. Believe it or not, there are actually 13 rules covering everything from schools, caskets and parades, to how to properly hang it with other flags.
Lucky for us; the most important one is also the simplest:
Display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on all days the weather permits. However, the flag may be displayed at night if properly illuminated with a spotlight.
Don't want to fly your flag everyday? Here are a few of the important dates to remember:

  • January 1 -- New Year's Day
  • January 20 -- Inaugurations Day (every fourth year)
  • 3rd Monday In Jan. -- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • February 12 -- Lincoln's Birthday
  • February 22 -- Washington's Birthday
  • 3rd Monday in February -- President's Day
  • Easter Sunday
  • 3rd Saturday in May -- Armed Forces Day
  • Last Monday in May -- Memorial Day (half-staff until noon)
  • June 14 -- Flag Day
  • July 4 -- Independence Day
  • 1st Monday in Sept. -- Labor Day
  • September 11 -- Patriot Day
  • 2nd Monday in Oct. -- Columbus Day
  • November 11 -- Veterans Day
  • 4th Thursday of Nov. -- Thanksgiving Day
  • December 25 -- Christmas Day

Oh, and remember when you take it down ... there are rules for folding it too.
Photo Credit: Chuck Eckert, Alamy

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