What Are the Rules for Flying the American Flag?

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Rules for flying the American Flag fall under several categories: the folding and unfolding of the flag, the method of display, the definition of a flag and flag proportions. All flags must meet the United States Flag Code.

A flag should first be folded in half twice, width-wise, then folded into triangles, starting on the striped end. For unfolding, this processed is reversed. The flag is never shaken out.

A flag displayed over a street should be suspended vertically. When displayed alongside another flag, the flags should be crossed, with the American flag to the viewer’s left. The American flag should always be flown above the flags of cities, states and other counties. In a group of three or more flags, the American flag should be the highest, and it should be positioned in the center.

When a flag is flown from a staff, the staff should either rise up diagonally or be positioned horizontally with the flag hanging down.

The Flag Code states that a flag for home use must not exceed 4 by 5 feet, and public display flags must not exceed 30 by 50 feet.