Memorial Day, which takes place on the last Monday in May each year, honors those who have died in American wars. To mark the day, you may be wondering – how do I fly the United States flag?
Thankfully, we have the United States Code, which officially addresses dozens of subjects, including how Old Glory should be flown on days like Memorial Day.
On Memorial Day, the flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon only. Then, it should be “raised briskly” to the top of the staff until sunset, according to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
Memorial Day is only one of six occurrences in which the flag should be flown at half-staff, according to the American Flagpole & Flag Co. The others are Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15), Korean War Veterans Armistice Day (July 27), Patriot Day (September 11), Pearl Harbor Day (December 7) and any day when the president issues an order lowering the flag as a mark of respect for the death of a principal figure or others.
Flags were recently flown at half-staff in honor of the 19 students and two teachers killed in a Texas school shooting.
The American flag should only be displayed from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. If it’s illuminated during the night hours, the flag can be displayed for 24 hours. When the flag is being raised, it should be done briskly, but when lowered, it should be done ceremoniously.
If you are displaying the flag against a wall, the union – the stars – should be in the top left corner. In a window, the flag should appear the same way with the stars in the upper left corner as viewed from outside looking in.
While no flag or pennant should be placed above the U.S. flag, there is an exception: During church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea for personnel of the Navy, the church pennant may be flown above the flag.