It’s a grand old flag!

November 11, 2021

The U.S. flag stands for our nation and the shared history, pride, principles, and commitment of its people. Properly displaying this powerful symbol signals respect for everything it represents. What better time to show off your American pride and your appreciation for our servicemen and women than Veterans Day (Nov. 11)? If you’re interested in flying “Old Glory” at your Ideal home, here are a few guidelines for proper display.

How to display the flag at your Ideal Home

  • From your porch, place the union (blue section) at the peak of the staff.
  • Against a wall or on a window, place the union (blue section) at the top left corner.
  • On your vehicle, clamp the staff to the right front fender.
  • With another flag, place the U.S. flag to your left when crossed.
  • Flags displayed at night should be properly illuminated.
  • In a time of national mourning, hang the flag at half-mast.

When to fly the flag in your Ideal Homes neighborhood

The flag can be flown every day, but it is often flown to show patriotism on these observances:

New Year’s Day, Inauguration Day, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday (Presidents Day), National Vietnam War Veterans Day, Easter Sunday, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, Labor Day, Constitution Day, Columbus Day, Navy Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day.

The flag shouldn’t be flown in inclement weather unless it’s an all-weather flag.

Caring for your flag

  • Keep your flag completely dry and folded properly – into a triangle with the union (blue section) visible – before storing it in a well-ventilated area. If the flag is damaged or worn out, it should be disposed of with dignity, preferably by burning. Your local American Legion or Boy Scout troop host disposal ceremonies.
  • The flag should not touch anything below it or rest on the ground.

Flag symbolism

The flag’s 13 alternating red and white stripes represent the 13 original colonies. Its 50 white stars on a blue field represent the 50 states.

The colors on the flag:

  • Red stands for valor and bravery.
  • White stands for purity and innocence.
  • Blue stands for vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

Flying at half-staff

The U.S. flag flies at half-staff (or half-mast) when the nation or a state is in mourning. The president, a state governor, or the mayor of the District of Columbia can order flags to fly at half-staff. Most often, this is done to mark the death of a government official, military member, or first responder; in honor of Memorial Day or another national day of remembrance; or following a national tragedy.

If you’d like more information or have a question, you can email the Department of State’s protocol office at

To order a U.S. flag that has flown over the Capitol, contact your senator’s office. 


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