Etiquette to follow on Flag Day and any day

Flags are raised at sun up and lowered at sundown. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Raising and lowering of the flag is a time-honored tradition

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 8:20 am

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WASHINGTON – June 14 is Flag Day, and a good time to be reminded of proper etiquette for handling the American flag.

It’s customary to have the American flag displayed in front of federal and state government buildings. Flags are raised at sun up and lowered at sundown, according to Maryland State Trooper Sgt. Robert Fraley. There’s only one exception.

“Unless it’s a situation like out front where you have the spotlight illuminating a flag, which you’re allowed to display at all hours of the darkness,” says Fraley.

The flag also should never be dipped.

“Our nation does not bow for anything, and neither does our flag,” Fraley says.

Here are more tips directly from usflag.org:

  • The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • 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, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind. The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

WTOP’s David Burd contributed to this report. Follow David and WTOP on Twitter.

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