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History of the American Flag   How to Correctly Fold the Flag   Flag Procedures   Saluting



The federal flag code says the universal custom is to display the U.S. flag from sunrise to sunset on buildings and stationary flagstaffs in the open, but when a patriotic effect is desired the flag may be displayed 24-hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.  Also, the U.S. flag should not be displayed when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.



Never use the flag for decoration.  Use bunting with the blue on top, then white, then red.


When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.

When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag - of a state, community, society or Scout unit - the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.

When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north
or east.  If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag's union should be farthest from the building.


U.S. flag goes to its own right.  Flags of other nations are flown at same height.  When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height.  Each flag should be the same size.  They should be raised and lowered simultaneously.

The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.

When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor - to its own right.  The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.  No other flag ever should be placed above it.

The Texas Flag is the only State flag that can fly at same height as the American Flag, all other  state flags should be lower.

The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.

  Half Staff

On special days, the flag may be flown at half-staff.  On Memorial Day it is flown at half-staff until noon and then raised.  Only the President of the United States or Congress can authorize the flag to be flown at half staff.  For remembrance of Post Members, if there is a second flag pole, the Post Flag can be flown at half staff.


 U.S. flag to marchers right (observer's left).

  On Same Staff

U.S. flag at peak, above any other flag.

  On Speaker's Platform

When displayed with a speaker's platform, it must be above and behind the speaker.  If mounted on a staff it is on the speaker's right.

  Over a Street

Union (stars) face north or east depending on the direction of the street.

  Raising and Lowering the Flag

The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously.  Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.

The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered.  The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.


All persons present in uniform should render the military salute.  Members of the armed forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute.  All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. 

With the passage of the February 2008 Defense Authorization Act, specifically Section 1877 which amended Title 4, U.S. Code, veterans may now salute the U.S. Flag during the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review.  In September 2008, Congress passed and the President signed the 2009 Defense Authorization Act which included Section 595 and added the playing of the National Anthem to the occasions for a military hand salute by veterans.  Later legislation is planned to add the Pledge of Allegiance.  The VFW encourages all veterans to render a hand salute under these circumstances, regardless of their headgear or lack of headgear.


To place the flag at half staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff.  The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered.  On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.

The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.

When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder.  It should not be lowered into the grave.


The Pledge of Allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.  When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note.  The salute is directed toward the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.


Do not let the flag touch the ground.
Do not fly flag upside down unless there is an emergency.
Do not carry the flag flat, or carry things in it.
Do not use the flag as clothing.
Do not store the flag where it can get dirty.
Do not use it as a cover.
Do not fasten it or tie it back. Always allow it to fall free.
Do not draw on, or otherwise mark the flag.


New Year's Day, January 1st
Inauguration Day, 3rd Monday in January
Martin Luther King's Birthday, January 20th
Lincoln's Birthday, February 12th
President's Day, 3rd Monday in February
Easter Sunday, Varies
Patriots Day, April 19
National Day of Prayer, the 1st Thursday of May
Mother's Day, 2nd Sunday in May
Armed Forces Day, 3rd Saturday in May
Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), Last Monday in May
Flag Day and Army Day, June 14th
Father's Day, 3rd Sunday in June
Independence Day, July 4th
Labor Day, 1st Monday in September
Patriot Day (half staff), September 11th
Constitution Day and Air Force Day, September 17th
Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October
Navy Day, October 27th
Marine Corp Day, November 10th
Veterans Day, November 11th
Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (half staff), December 7th
Christmas Day, December 25th
Election Days
Days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
State and Local Holidays
Your State Birthday (March 2nd, 1836) - Texas is only state that can fly flag at same height, as
Texas is the only state that was it's own country before joining the United States.


Proper flag disposal known as a Flag Retirement Ceremony is one of the many patriotic duties VFW
Posts conduct nationwide. Old, weathered, faded, ripped or torn flags should be replaced with a
new flag.  A retired flag deserves to be treated with the respect for it still represents our great
nation and our citizens.

When the flag is worn out or otherwise no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way.  The Woodlands VFW Post 12024 provides the community with a method for the proper disposal of their flags.  Bring your flag to the monthly meeting to drop off.

This VFW post will dispose of the United States of America Flag with dignity, with the proper procedures designated by the United States Government.

Meetings are held the first Thursday of each month at the South County Community Center at 2235
Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodland TX 77380.


If you want to conduct your own Flag Retirement Ceremony, here are some suggested procedure for disposing of a retired flag with respect and dignity.

The flag should be folded in its customary manner.

It is important that the fire be fairly large and sufficient intensity to ensure a complete burning of the flag.

Place the flag on the fire.

The individual(s) may come to attention, salute the flag (right over your heart or military salute),  recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and have a brief period of silent reflection.

After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.

Please make sure you are conforming to local/state fire codes or ordinances.


The history of the Blue Star Banner leads us back to World War I and Army Captain Robert. L Queissner. Captain Queissner designed this service flag to represent his two sons which were serving on the front line during this war.

The Blue Star Banner became an unofficial way to show that your family had a child in the services. Over time the flag has transitioned to simply represent any family member who is serving in the Armed Forces at a time of war or hostility.

 In 1918 President Wilson added, from a suggestion by the Women's Committee of the Council of National Defense, that if the family member was lost while serving that the blue star was to be covered with a GOLD STAR. The blue would be symbolic of hope and the gold would symbolize sacrifice for freedom.

In World War II, the Blue Star Banner became very popular and could be seen in almost every window in which it was applicable. The Banner is traditionally hung in the window of a home as to allow all who pass the residence to view it and know the family has a member at war. It is known that only immediate family members of the person serving in the United States Armed Forces are to display the flag.

The list of expectable relation includes: grandparents, wife, husband, mother, father, step parent, adopted parent, foster parent, child, stepchild, adopted child, brothers, sisters, and half brothers and sisters. In 2001 on the historic day of 9/11, this flag became an official representation for a family to display to symbolize a serving member in the Armed Forces and was to be hung through the duration of a period of war or hostility.



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