The stars and stripes remain one of our country’s strongest symbols of national pride. The American flag flies high above post offices, town halls, and family homes from North Carolina to California. It can be even be spotted on the road, waving from car roofs and motorcycle fenders.
Certain holidays, like Memorial Day and the 4th of July, are obvious days to fly the American flag. But do you know when else the flag should be flown?
Here are 21 important days for flying the American flag and tips for how to do it correctly.
Days to Fly the American Flag
While the flag can (and often should) be displayed daily from sunrise to sunset, the U.S. Flag Code lists the following as “particular days of display:”
#1: New Year’s Day (January 1)
The flag is to be flown in commemoration of the new year.
#2: Inauguration Day (January 20, every 4 years)
The flag should be flown every four years when a presidential inauguration occurs, regardless of political affiliation.
#3: Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12)
Celebrate our 16th President’s birthday every year by flying the flag in honor of Honest Abe.
#4: Washington’s Birthday (3rd Monday in February)
You’ve got to display the stars and stripes each year to celebrate the birthday of George Washington. He’s the first President and the man who asked Betsy Ross to create the flag in the first place!
#5: Easter Sunday (date varies)
In 2019, Easter Sunday will fall on April 21. In 2020 and 2021, it will fall on April 12 and April 4 respectively.
#6: Mother’s Day (2nd Sunday in May)
You wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for dear old mom, so fly your flag in honor of her!
#7: Armed Forces Day (3rd Saturday in May)
Display your flag on Armed Forces Day in tribute to the men and women who serve our great nation.
#8: Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
From sunrise until noon, the flag is to fly at half-staff to honor our fallen veterans. From noon until sunset, it is to be flown full-staff to honor those still with us. For more tips, check out our Memorial Day flag etiquette guide.
#9: Flag Day (June 14)
Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the American flag by the Second Continental Congress in 1777. This one is a no-brainer!
#10: Father’s Day (3rd Sunday in June)
You also wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for dad, so display the flag on this day too.
#11: Independence Day (July 4)
You can’t miss all of the American flags displayed on the 4th of July, commemorating the day we became free and independent states. Make sure your flag is front and center!
#12: Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
Fly your flag throughout Labor Day weekend – and especially Labor Day! – to celebrate the men and women who work hard to keep our country running.
#13: Constitution Day (September 17)
The United States Constitution is considered the supreme law of our country. Celebrate the day it was adopted by flying your flag.
#14: Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October)
In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue – and today, we fly our flags to celebrate the day he reached America!
#15: Navy Day (October 27)
Navy Day honors and celebrates the United States Navy, the largest naval warfare service branch in the entire world.
#16: Veterans Day (November 11)
Veterans Day is a day to celebrate and honor veterans, not merely mourn them. For this reason, the flag is not to be flown at half-staff. Citizens are, however, encouraged to fly POW/MIA and military branch flags in support of our veterans.
#17: Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)
Before you eat yourself into a turkey coma, make sure your American flag is flying!
#18: Christmas Day (December 25)
The only thing better than a white Christmas is a red, white, and blue Christmas. Make sure your flag is displayed on this major holiday.
#19: State Holidays and Birthdays (date of admission)
The U.S. flag is to be flown on in each state on its date of admission to the Union.
Other Important Days to Fly the American Flag
While the following dates did not make it into the U.S. Flag Code, they are still worth including:
#20: National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day (July 27)
July 27 is the anniversary of the treaty which ended the Korean War. From 2000 to 2003, during the treaty’s 50th anniversary years, the flag was flown at half-staff. Since then, it is to be flown at full-staff on this day in special remembrance of Korean War veterans.
#21: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7)
In solemn remembrance of the “day that shall live in infamy,” the flag is to fly at half-staff from sunrise until sunset.
#22: Election Days
While the code specifies flags be flown at polling places, election days are the perfect chance for everyone to show off their civic pride whether that’s by voting, flying the flag, or both!
The Correct Way to Display the American Flag
The Flag Code also provides a set of established guidelines for the care and display of the American flag. It covers everything from proper disposal of a damaged flag to the order and height at which flags should be flown. Do your best to honor the stars and stripes by following these American flag display rules:
- Do not fly the flag in inclement weather or at night (unless properly illuminated).
- Do not fly a damaged flag.
- Do not fly any flags larger or higher than the American flag. They can be of an equal size.
- Do not allow the flag to touch the ground.
- Fly the flag at the peak of the staff unless circumstances require it be flown at half-staff.
These rules are the same whenever the flag is flown. A more comprehensive list can be found at The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Know that you know when and how to fly the American flag, will you do it? If so, where? Let us know in a comment below and be sure to follow Direct Auto & Life Insurance on Facebook and Twitter for more great ideas for celebrating our great nation.