Flag Facts

Displaying the Colors of Pride

The United States flag calls to our spirit, reminding us of the greatness of America. It has been a symbol of our independence since the June 14, 1777 adoption of the first thirteen-star version which represented the original thirteen colonies that rebelled against the British monarchy to become the first thirteen states of a new sovereign nation. Now, the United States of America has 50 states, and the current flag, adopted July 4, 1960, proudly displays a blue union of 50 stars to represent each of them, and thirteen stripes to represent those original thirteen colonies. As American citizens, we cherish and uphold the American flag because it represents the standard of honor under which we live, and the principles of liberty on which this country was founded.

The American flag is not just flown on Independence Day. As Americans, we proudly display the flag to show our allegiance to our country, and as an act of patriotism. Therefore, the flag may be seen displayed on all days when the weather permits, but especially on legal holidays or other special occasions. It is customary to display the flag from sunrise to sunset on buildings or on stationary flagstaffs in the open. The flag may be displayed at night with the use of spotlights.

The flag should be raised and lowered by hand on a flagpole. While raising it, unfurl it and hoist it quickly to the peak of the pole. It should be lowered slowly and ceremoniously. When flown at half-staff, the flag should be hoisted to the peak, then immediately lowered to the half-staff position. It should be raised to the peak again for a moment before it is lowered for the day.

When to Fly the Flag

The flag may be displayed every day, but it is particularly appropriate to display the flag on the following days:

New Year’s Day — January 1

Martin Luther King Day — Third Monday in January

Inauguration Day — January 20

Lincoln’s Birthday — February 12

President’s Day — Third Monday in February

Army Day — April 6

Easter Sunday — April 24, 2011 (date is variable)

V-E Day — May 8

Mother’s Day — Second Sunday in May

Peace Officers Memorial Day (half-staff) — May 15

Armed Forces Day — Third Saturday in May

Memorial Day (half-staff until noon) — Last Monday in May

Flag Day — June 14

Father’s Day — Third Sunday in June

Independence Day — July 4

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day — July 27

Purple Heart Day — August 7

V-J Day — August 14

National Aviation Day — August 19

Labor Day — First Monday in September

Patriot Day (half-staff) 10th Anniversary of 9/11 — September 11

National POW/MIA Recognition Day — Third Friday in September

Constitution Day — September 17

Gold Star Mothers Day — Last Sunday in September

Firefighters Memorial Day (half-staff) — Sunday before or on October 9th

Columbus Day — Second Monday in October

Navy Day — October 27

Election Day — First Tuesday in November

Marine Corp Day — November 10

Veteran’s Day — November 11

Thanksgiving Day — Fourth Thursday in November

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (half-staff) — December 7

Christmas Day — December 25