How to Raise & Lower the U.S. Flag

by Bridget Everett

There are many different rules on the proper way to display, raise and lower a flag. It is important to never fly a flag after dark unless it is properly illuminated. If you have an all-weather flag, it may be flown during rain or other bad weather, otherwise it must be lowered and kept clean and dry. The American Flag should never touch the grown, be flown upside down, or be used to carry or store anything.

Raising the Flag

Make sure the flagpole is displayed in the correct location. The American Flag should be displayed at the center and highest point if there are several flags being displayed together. The flag should be displayed outside of all schools and government buildings, and outside all polling locations on election day.

Raise the flag briskly at sunrise. To raise the flag, carefully unfold the flag, never letting it touch the ground. Connect the hooks of the flagpole to the flag itself, raising it briskly.

Be aware of all half-staff dates. On certain dates throughout the year, the government has declared that the flag will be flown at half-staff. To raise a flag half staff, raise the flag all the way to the top for a moment and then lower it halfway down the flagpole. On Memorial Day, flags should be flown at half-staff until noon. On September 11th, flags should be flown at half-staff all day. For the death of a president, the flag should be flown at half staff for 30 days. For the Vice President, Chief Justice or former Chief Justice, flags should be flown at half staff for 10 days.

Lowering the Flag

Create a proper setting for lowering the flag. It is always important to show respect and patriotism when lowering the flag. Both the person/people in charge of lowering the flag and any onlookers should just be silent, with their hats off. Some people believe in putting your hand over your heart as the flag is lowered, but this is a personal preference.

Lower the flag. The flag should be lowered slowly to show respect for the flag and hesitation in bringing it down.

Folding the flag. There is a proper, standard way to fold the American Flag. It is important for anyone who will be in charge of raising or lowering the flag to learn this proper procedure. After it is folded, it should be stored in a safe, dry location until the morning. Step-by-step instructions for folding a flag are located in the references below.

Resources

About the Author

Bridget Everett is a professional Web copywriter. She specializes in several niches including travel, education, parenting, business, marketing, health, crafts, fashion and home decorating. Everett has studied marketing, elementary education and journalism at Northeastern University, Fordham University and Middle Tennessee State University.

Photo Credits

  • Brandi Lambert/Demand Media