The fundamental rule of flag etiquette is: treat
all flags with respect and common sense.
The Stars and Stripes takes precedence over all other
flags when flown within the United States. It should
not be flown lower than another flag nor should it
be smaller than another flag flown with it. Other
flags may, however, be flown at the same height, it
is not proper to display them together at all.
The point of honor is on the extreme left from the
standpoint of the observer ("the flag's right").
The order from left to right of flags flown together
is: the Stars and Stripes, other national flags in
alphabetical order, state flags, county and city flags,
organizational flags and personal flag.
If one flag is at half-staff in mourning, other flags
flown with it should be at half-staff. First raise
the flags to their peak, then lower to half-staff.
The Stars and Stripes is raised first and lowered
A salute (hand over heart for those not in uniform)
should be rendered when the flag is raised, lowered,
or carried by on parade; when the Pledge of Allegiance
is recited, and when the national anthem is played
(unless the flag is not present).
It is proper to fly the Stars and Stripes at night,
but only if it is spotlighted.
No flag should be flown during weather that might
damage it, based on a common sense interpretation
To extend the life of a flag, when it is torn it
should be repaired and under no circumstances should
a flag be folded while wet.
When a flag is no longer of dignified appearance
and cannot be repaired, it should be destroyed in
a dignified way (burned or sealed in a bag or box
before being sent out for trash collection).
In a public gathering (lecture hall, church, etc.),
the Stars and Stripes should be to the right of the
speakers or on the wall behind them.
The canton of the flag (the blue "field"
with 50 stars) should always be to the observers'
left except: 1) when displayed on a casket; 2) when
displayed as a decal on the right side of a vehicle
(bus, truck, plane, etc.); 3) when worn as a patch
on the right arm (but use on the left arm is preferable).
The Stars and Stripes should be in the center of
a group of flags only when: 1) the center pole is
taller than the others or 2) when a fan-like arrangement
makes the center pole higher than the others.
It is not illegal or improper to fly and flag (state,
ethnic group, orginization, etc.) alone, but it is
always preferable to display the Stars and Stripes
at the same time.