This Article presented by Real Estate Today
As we celebrate America’s independence this weekend, millions of homeowners across the land will be flying American flags outside their home as a show of loyalty and patriotism.
Maybe, a homeowner like you!
But I’m sure you know there is a right way and quite a few wrong ways to fly the flag. So if you’re going out and buying an American flag for the fourth or if you’re flying one you already have, you might want to listen up, as we talk about Flag etiquette, 101.
Now, let’s start at the beginning. Flying the flag is guaranteed to you by law. Congress passed a bill in 2006 that prohibits homeowner associations and property management groups from enforcing any kind of ban on American flag displays.
The law only protects the flag itself. It does not guarantee you the right to build a huge flagpole in your yard or anything like that. The law still allows associations to establish reasonable guidelines, and those of course, will vary from place to place. But the bottom line is, in most cases, you are indeed free to show off your stars and stripes.
Now, before you fly that flag, you want to make sure you follow the US Flag code. This is not enforceable law, but it is considered proper etiquette, and there are a number of rules that could earn you a nasty glance from a passing war veteran or even a boy or girl-scout if you are not careful about your display.
To begin with, flags should generally be flown only from sunrise to sunset. They may be flown 24 hours a day however, only, if they are properly illuminated.
Flags should not be displayed in the rain, unless the flag is made of an all-weather material, such as nylon.
And as most of us know already, the flag should never touch anything beneath it, whether it’s the lawn, your front steps, or your driveway.
And it should never be flown upside down, except in the case of a serious emergency.
So now you’re ready to fly the flag. Let’s look at the hardware you’re going to use.
If you have a flag pole mounted on the front of your house, the type that angles away from the wall, the blue field with the white stars, also known as the union, should be placed at the tip of the pole.
That’s also true if you have an actual flag pole in your front yard, but a flag pole carries one more rule also. If more than one flag is flown on a pole, the US Flag must always go on top.
And of course, many of us will be flying the flag on decks, or porches, even hanging from the balcony of your condo.
If that’s the case, you may display it either horizontally or vertically. But either way, the Union should be on the upper left.
Flags should never be draped over objects, worn like clothing or bunched up and used as bunting. If you want bunting, use bunting. And even there, there’s proper etiquette. Bunting should be hung with the blue stripe on top, so now you know.
Now, we’ve really just addressed the basics. There are rules for raising and lowering flags, rules for wearing flag pins and even rules for how to properly dispose of them.
Now, there’s not going to be a quiz, so don’t worry if you don’t get every little point correct. But go ahead and use the 4th of July as an excuse to get out the drill and put up that flag pole mount. You’re going to love the look of that Star Spangled Banner outside your home and it might even inspire you to follow the lead of John Wayne.
From all of us here at Real Estate Today – Happy Independence Day, everyone!
Be sure to listen to the weekly Real Estate Today Radio show. You can listen right from this page in the player near the top left hand column. – SOS
Latest posts by Steven B. O'Sullivan
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