How to Properly Handle the American Flag
The American flag is a symbol of our nation and its values. It is essential to treat it with respect and honor by following proper American flag etiquette. Displaying the flag appropriately is the utmost priority. When hanging it vertically on a wall or window, the stars should be at the top left corner. While hanging it horizontally, the stars should always be in the top left corner.
As you display the flag, raise it in the center higher than other flags. However, if other national flags are alongside the American flag, keep them at equal height.
When the American flag is raised or lowered, do it slowly and with dignity. It should never touch the ground, water, or any other object. If it does, inspect for damage and clean it if necessary.
While using a flag for a ceremony or parade, carry it in front of the marching unit or motorcade and never hold it flat or horizontally. The American flag should always be front and center alongside other flags.
It is also essential to properly dispose of an American flag when no longer in good condition. A faded, torn, or otherwise damaged flag should not be used and should be retired respectfully. Burning a flag is the preferred retirement method and should be done privately and honorably. Many organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America, offer flag retirement ceremonies. If burning the flag is not an option, bury it courteously.
Regardless of the method used, it is vital to treat the American flag respectfully during retirement. Never throw away a flag or treat it as ordinary waste. By following these guidelines, we can ensure that the American flag continues to represent freedom, democracy, and justice for future generations.