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American Legion Flag Etiquette
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When To Display Your Flag
The flag should be displayed, from sunrise to sunset, on
all days when the weather permits, especially on:

New Year's Day, January 1
Inauguration Day
Martin Luther King's Birthday, Third Monday in January
Lincoln's Birthday
Washington's Birthday, February 22
Easter Sunday
Mother's Day, Second Sunday in May
Armed Forces Day, Third Saturday in May
Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), Last Monday in May
Flag Day, June 14th
Independence Day, July 4th
Labor Day, First Monday in September
American Legion Day, September 16th
Constitution Day, September 17th
Columbus Day, October 12th
Navy Day
Veterans Day, November 11th
Thanksgiving Day, Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day, December 25th
Election Days (various)

Federally observed dates of the above holidays which may be different from the actual dates. Such days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States. State and Local Holidays.
Flag Folding
American Legion Post 52 Romeoville, Illinois - Folding Flag
Step 1: Bring the striped half up over the blue field.

Step 2: Then fold it in half again.

Step 3: Bring the lower striped corner to the upper edge forming a triangle.

Step 4: Then fold the upper point in to form another triangle. Continue until the entire length of the flag is folded.

Step 5: When you get near the end - nothing but the blue field showing - tuck the last bit into the other folds to secure it.

At military funerals the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times. Why is that? Each fold of the U.S. flag has an important meaning.

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 veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

4. The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

5. The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for 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 her enemies, whether they are 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 mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day.

9. The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

10. The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.

11. The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

12. The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.

13. When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation's motto, "In God We Trust". After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones. Those who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.
Important Flag Facts
Below are important flag facts that everyone should know...
  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
  • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Note: Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Contact your local American Legion Hall and inquire about the availability of this service.

Displaying The Flag Outdoors
When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.

When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag - of a state, community, society or Scout unit - the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.

When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag's union should be farthest from the building.

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Page Maintained By:
Yvette Munroe & Glen Creighton

UPDATED: December 19, 2015