On Memorial Day, the U.S. flag is to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to noon. Other days in the year that the flag is to be flown at half-staff include Peace Officer Memorial Day (May), Patriot Day (Sept. 11), National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service (October) and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (Dec. 7).
The flying of the U.S. flag at half-staff and other common flag questions were addressed by Ann Byars, youth education and civics manager for the National Americanism Division, during The American Legion’s virtual Training Tuesday session May 24.
Byars said that she is often asked if the flag is to be flown at half-staff on Armed Forces Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. “These are full-staff days for the flag,” she reiterated. “Unless your state governor or the president of the United States has a half-staff proclamation issued, the United States flag is to be displayed at full staff.”
To be notified of when the flag is to be flown at half-staff:
- Sign up for the Flag Alert e-newsletter at legion.org/newsletters for notification when the U.S. flag is to be displayed at half-staff.
- Subscribe to the Flag Alert text notifications. First, text Flag to 534466. You will receive a text asking for a valid email address for the two-step authorization. Once that is complete, you will receive the text alerts.
Flag retirement ceremonies are often held on or around Flag Day by American Legion posts, so Byars reminded listeners to drop off unserviceable flags at their local post for proper disposal. Section 8, paragraph K of the U.S. Flag Code states, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”
A common question often asked about is how to display the American flag at a meeting. Left to right facing flag order should be:
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Space Force
U.S. Coast Guard
The American Legion flag (organizational flag)
More flag resources
Order American-made flags at https://www.americanlegionflags.com/.
Purchase “Let’s Be Right on Flag Etiquette” book here.
Find more flag resources at legion.org/flag.