Displaying the U.S. Flag
On the same staff
U.S. flag at peak, above any other flag.
The U.S. flag goes to its own right. Flags of other nations are flown at the same height.
U.S. flag to marchers right (observer’s left).
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.
Never use the flag for decoration. Use bunting with the blue on top, then white, then red.
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.
Over a Street Union (stars) face north or east depending on the direction of the street.
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.
Do not let the flag touch the ground.
Do not fly the 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.
Per Federal Flag Code, Section 2, paragraph (a), it is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
Order of Precedence
The order of precedence when displaying military flags together is Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard.
Official U.S. Flag Code
Public Law 94-344, known as the Federal Flag Code, contains rules for handling and displaying the U.S. flag. While the federal code contains no penalties for misusing the flag, states have their own flag codes and may impose penalties. The language of the federal code makes clear that the flag is a living symbol.
In response to a Supreme Court decision which held that a state law prohibiting flag burning was unconstitutional, Congress enacted the Flag Protection Act in 1989. It provides that anyone who knowingly desecrates the flag may be fined and/or imprisoned for up to one year. However, this law was challenged by the Supreme Court in a 1990 decision that the Flag Protection Act violates the First Amendment free speech protections. Access the U.S. Flag Code Guide.
1. The flag should be folded in its customary manner.
2. It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.
3. Place the flag on the fire.
4. The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.
5. After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.
6. Please make sure you are conforming to local/state fire codes or ordinances.
For your convenience, VFW Post 970 in partnership with the Oahu Veterans Center has placed a Flag Receptacle Bin at the Oahu Veterans Center next to the office. NOTE: It is recommended that the US Flag be folded and placed into the bin (see How to Fold the U.S. Flag).
Please contact VFW Post 970 if you’d like assistance or more information on proper flag disposal.*
How to fold the U.S Flag
NOTE: See Flag Folding Ceremony for a common script used when folding the U.S. Flag.
Flag Folding (13 Folds) Ceremony
The flag-folding ceremony represents the same religious principles on which our great country was originally founded.
1. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
2. The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
3. The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
4. The fourth fold represents our weaker nature; as American citizens trusting in God, it is Him we turn to in times of peace, as well as in times of war, for His divine guidance.
5. The fifth fold is a tribute to our country. In the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
6. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
7. The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
8. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
9. The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood. It has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that has molded the character of the men and women who have made this country great.
10. The 10th fold is a tribute to father, who has also given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first born.
11. The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
12. The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.
13. The 13th and last fold, when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”
NOTE: VA states: “Honoring the burial wishes of veterans is one of the highest commitments for the men and women of VA,” said William F. Tuerk, VA’s undersecretary for Memorial Affairs. “A family may request the recitation of words to accompany the meaningful presentation of the American flag as we honor the dedication and sacrifice of their loved ones.”