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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)My flag touched the ground. Do I need to destroy it? No. You should, of course, try to avoid having the flag touch the ground. But if it does, you should correct the situation immediately. If the flag has been dirtied, you should clean it by hand with a mild soap solution and dry it well before returning it to use.
My flag is old and ready to be retired. What should I do? Section 8k of the Flag Code (see below) states, "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning." We recommend that you contact your local VFW Chapter and ask them for help properly disposing of your flag. And be sure to consider providing a small donation to them for their assistance. Or you can contact your local Elks Lodge (who created the idea of Flag Day, established officially by President Truman, himself a member of the Elks), the American Legion, or the Knights of Columbus. Some Boy Scout and Girl Scout troups also can provide this service.
Is it appropriate to fly a flag that has fewer than 50 stars? Yes. There is nothing wrong in flying a historic flag.
I am not a citizen of the US; am I expected to salute the flag? Americans should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute. Those who are not U.S. citizens should stand at attention.
Is it okay to fly a flag that was used to drape a coffin? The Flag Code makes no reference to this use, but consensus among experts is that yes, it would be an honor to display the flag to show patriotism.
How can I get a flag that has flown over the Capitol? Constituents may arrange to purchase flags that have been flown over the Capitol by getting in touch with their Senators or Representative. A certificate signed by the Architect of the Capitol accompanies each flag. Flags are available for purchase in sizes of 3'x5' or 5'x8' in fabrics of cotton and nylon.
What does the fringe on the flag represent?
Should I fly my flag at half-mast today?
Upon the death of a sitting or former President how long does the flag fly at half-mast? For a Vice-President? 30 days for the death of a sitting or former President. 10 days for the death of a Vice President. See section 7-m below for more information.
How can I show mourning if my flag is on a fixed pole or staff and can't be half-masted? The flag rules make no provisions for this. However, army regulations state, "A streamer of black crepe 7 feet long and 1 foot wide will be attached to the staff immediately below the spearhead of the U.S. flag."
Can I have people sign my flag? No, you should never sign the flag directly on it. If your flag has a canvas strip that holds the grommets, it is acceptable to have everyone sign along that canvas strip. Or, you can have everyone sign a separate document that can then be framed and displayed with the flag.
I am thinking of getting a flag tattoo. Is it okay?
What is the meaning of the folds in a flag-folding ceremony?
Is Texas's the only state flag allowed to fly at the same height as the US flag?
Does the ball ornament atop a flagpole contain a razor, lighter, and flare?
Is it okay to have a flag t-shirt with words written on it?
Is it okay to use flag napkins or flag paper plates?
Is it okay for an advertisement to use the flag? No. Section 8i (see below) reads, "The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever."
Where does the flag fly 24 hours a day?
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Baltimore, Maryland (Presidential Proclamation No. 2795, July 2, 1948). Flag House Square, Albemarle and Pratt Streets, Baltimore Maryland (Public Law 83-319, approved March 26, 1954). United States Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima), Arlington, Virginia (Presidential Proclamation No. 3418, June 12, 1961). On the Green of the Town of Lexington, Massachusetts (Public Law 89-335, approved November 8, 1965). The White House, Washington, DC. (Presidential Proclamation No. 4000, September 4, 1970). Washington Monument, Washington, DC. (Presidential Proclamation No. 4064, July 6, 1971, effective July 4, 1971). Fifty flags of the United States are displayed at the Washington Monument continuously. United States Customs Ports of Entry which are continually open (Presidential Proclamation No. 413 1, May 5, 1972). Grounds of the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge State Park, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (Public Law 94-53, approved July 4,1975).
I fly my flag at home 24 hours a day. What does "properly illuminated" mean?
When children paint the American flag, is that against the Flag rules and regulations?
What does the Flag Code say about displaying the flag horizontally, as before a football game?
Why is the flag sometimes backwards on the side of airplanes, buses, and other vehicles?
On my motorcycle, I have two flags, the US flag and a POW/MIA flag. How should they be positioned?
What is the proper way to wear a flag patch on one's shoulder sleeve?
Isn't the American flag stamp in violation of the flag rules?
What is a flag?
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