Flag Etiquette

Here are a few tips on American flag etiquette:

The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing.
The flag is only flown upside down as a distress signal.
The flag should not be used to drape over a desk, platform or for any decoration.
The flag should not be used for any advertising purpose.
The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform except for flag patches on uniforms of military personnel, a fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
No words or figures should be attached to the flag.
When the flag is lowered, no part should touch the ground or any other object.
The flag should be raised quickly and lowered slowly with ceremony.
No other flag or pennant should be placed above, or if on the same level, to the right of the American flag.
In a group of flags displayed from staffs, the U.S. flag should be at the center and at the highest point.

Additional tips:
Traditional guidelines call for displaying the flag in public only from sunrise to sunset. However, the flag may be displayed at night if it's illuminated.
The flag should not be subject to weather damage, so it should not be displayed during rain, snow or wind storms ù unless it's an all-weather flag.
The flag should be displayed often, especially on national and state holidays.
The flag should be displayed on or near the main building of public institutions, schools when in session and polling places on election day.
When carried in procession with other flags, the U.S. flag should be either on the marching right (the flags' right) or to the front and center of the flag line.
When displayed on a float in a parade, the flag should be hung from a staff or suspended so it falls free; it should not be draped over a vehicle.
When displayed with another flag from crossed staffs, the U.S. flag should be on its own right (left to a person facing the wall). Its staff should be in front of the other flag's staff.
When other flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first and lowered last.
Flags of other nations should be flown on separate staffs.
Inter-national custom dictates that flags of different nations be displayed at the same height in peacetime and be approximately the same size.
When a flag is displayed other than on a staff, it should be flat or suspended so that it falls free. When displayed against a wall or object, the union should be at the top and to the flag's own right (the observer's left) whether displayed horizontally or vertically.
When displayed flat against the wall on a speaker's platform, the flag should be above and behind the speaker with union on the flag's right-side (the audience's left).

When displayed over a street or walkway where the flag can be seen from either side, the union should be to the north on an east-west street and to the east on a north-south street.
The same directions apply to a building lobby or corridor with entrances to the east and west or north and south.
The flag may cover a casket, but it should not cover a statue or monument for unveiling.
When the flag is worn or soiled, it should be destroyed in a dignified way. Veterans' organizations burn old flags in special ceremonies.
Things not to do with the flag: Never carry it flat or horizontally. Always carry it aloft. Never use it to hold objects of any kind.

Sources: Federal Flag Code   www.bcpl.net/~etowner/flagcode.html