Massapequa

American Flag Etiquette

As Memorial Day approaches, it is important that organizations and individuals, including many of our elected officials, be reminded that there is a Federal Flag Code (Public Law 94-344) that was passed by the 94th Congress (1975 – 1977) as a guide for handling and displaying the United States Flag.
All too often, I see the American Flag positioned incorrectly in a parade or behind someone during an interview on television or pictured in the newspaper. As per Public Law 94-344, Rule no. 10 states “When carried in a parade front with other flags, the U.S. Flag should be always to the marching right of the other flags, or to the front and center of the flag line.” Rule no. 35 states that when displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the U.S. Flag should be to the clergyman’s or speaker’s right as he/she faces the audience. Any other flag should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the audience. And finally, Rule no. 26 states that on Memorial Day the Flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. Any organization or individual who may have a question about United States Flag etiquette should contact their local Veteran’s organization with their question. Many Veterans organizations have individuals who, if invited, would be able to give a presentation as to the etiquette of our “Stars and Stripes.”

William G. Walden
Commander, Hicksville Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 3211