If you live in the United States, you probably see an American Flag displayed prominently every day. American Flags are a great source of pride for many Americans and are even required at some organizations. At AMI Graphics, we stitch all of our American Flags at our production facility in Florida. If you’re looking for an American Flag that is made in America, you’ve come to the right place.
As many of us will be displaying the American Flag this 4th of July, it’s helpful to know how it should be displayed properly. The U.S. Flag Code gives an in-depth set of guidelines for how American Flags should be displayed and handled. While these guidelines are not enforceable, failure to follow them could be misconstrued as disrespectful. Below, we explain the most common ways to properly hang an American Flag.
Displaying the American Flag on a Wall
When hanging a flag horizontally or vertically on a wall, the union (star field) should be in the upper left corner from the observer’s perspective. This is one of the most common mistakes made when hanging a flag.
Displaying an American Flag that will be Seen from Both Directions
When the flag will be seen from both directions, like draped over a street or from the rafters of a gymnasium, there are different guidelines to follow. In this case, the American Flag should be hung with the union on either the eastern side or northern side, depending on how it is being viewed. For example, if an American Flag was draped over a north-south street, the union should be on the eastern side. Conversely, if the flag was draped over an east-west street, the union would be positions on the northern side.
Hanging an American Flag from an Angled Wall Bracket
When hanging the U.S. Flag from an angled wall bracket from a building or home, the union should always be at the peak of the staff. The flag itself should have enough clearance so that it is not resting on any objects below.
Displaying Several Flags from Different Staffs
When several flags are displayed on separate flagstaffs, the U.S. Flag should be in the center of the flags and raised the highest if it is the only national flag displayed.
Above we see the American Flag properly positioned in the middle of the other flags and raised to the greatest prominence of the three. If either of these two flags were flags of other nations, this positioning would be incorrect.
When displaying the national flag of another country, it should be raised on a separate staff and at an equal height to the U.S. Flag, but never higher. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.
Above we see the U.S. Flag raised alongside the flag of France. The two flags are of equal size and are raised at the same height on separate flagstaffs (the middle staff is not displaying any flag).
Where did the nickname Old Glory originate?
Old Glory was a nickname given to a 10’ x 17’ American Flag by William Driver, a sea captain from Massachusetts. Driver would later move from Massachusetts to Nashville, Tennessee where Confederate soldiers tried to confiscate his American Flag. However, Driver consistently resisted, even hiding his flag with his neighbors to prevent soldiers from taking it.
Regarding his 10’ x 17’ American Flag, Driver wrote, “It has ever been my staunch companion and protection. Savages and heathens, lowly and oppressed, hailed and welcomed it at the far end of the wide world. Then, why should it not be called Old Glory?” Driver was a respected unionist and others noticed his devotion to protect the flag, causing the nickname “Old Glory” to stick.
We hope this guide helps you properly display your American flag this 4th of July and all year long. Visit our American Flags page to browse our selection of American-made flags and contact us for any other signage needs you have. Have a happy and safe 4th!