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With the Fourth of July just around the corner, we see red, white and blue everywhere we look.  Many Tampa Bay homeowners will be flying their American Flag this Fourth of July to show their patriotism.  Some permanently display the flag, while others display it for National Holidays and may not know the proper way of displaying it.  To show our patriotism, we must properly honor the flag by following some simple flag etiquette rules.

Flying from Dawn to Dusk
Flags should be properly displayed from dawn to dusk.  However, if a patriotic effect is desired, a flag can be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated at night.

Do Not Flying in Inclement Weather
If your flag is not an all-weather flag, it should be taken down during inclement weather.  All-weather flags are made of 100% heavy nylon.  Cotton flags are not considered all-weather flags.  Check the manufacture’s label to determine the type of flag you own.

Never Let it Touch the Ground
Never let the flag touch the ground or anything below it.  This includes any landscape, bushes or shrubs.  A flag can be damaged if it is touching an object and is a sign of disrespect.

Raising and Lowering the Flag
The flag should be hoisted quickly and briskly, then lowered in a slow and ceremonious fashion.  If flown at half-staff, the flag should be raised to the top and then lowered to half-staff. At the end of the day, the flag should be raised again to the top and then slowly and ceremoniously lowered.

On Memorial Day, the flag should be flown at half-staff until noon and then raised.

Flag Dipped
The American Flag should not be dipped, even to the American President.  When displayed with other flags, the American Flag should be elevated above the other flags.

Displaying the Union Correctly
When the flag is displayed on a staff, the Union should be at the peak of the pole.  If a flag is to be hung vertically, the Union (blue section) of the flag should always be to the observer’s top left.  If it is horizontally hung, the Union should be to the observer’s top left.  When a flag pole is attached to the side of a home, the flag should be to the left of the door.

The flag should never be displayed with the Union facing down. This is only done to signify dire distress.

Properly Storing the Flag
Flags should be folded in the traditional triangle.  They should never be wadded up or rolled while attached to a pole.  Store in a clean area.

Properly Disposing of the American Flag
Flags that are stained, torn or unpresentable should be properly disposed of during a Flag Burning Ceremony.   Local VFW, American Legion or Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops regularly retire flags.  American Legion Posts offer a burning ceremony in conjunction with Flag Day, on June 14th.  Contact one of these organizations to inquire about their retirement ceremonies.

We hope you share your patriotism this Fourth of July by flying your American Flag.  To learn more about Flag Etiquette go to US Flag Code.

Scott’s One Hour Air wishes everyone a cool and safe Fourth of July celebrating our great country’s birthday.  God Bless America!