Tag Archives: flag code

When to Raise and Lower the American Flag

Flag NomenclatureI received these questions just a short time ago.

1. At the beginning of the work day (duty day) when raising the U.S. flag in conjunction with a state flag which one is flown first? I believe it to be the U.S. flag.
Answer: Per the Flag Code, the American flag is always raised first.

2. When lowering the flags at the end of the day which one is lowered first? U.S. or state flag?
Answer: Per the Flag Code, the American flag is always lowered last. The state flag is lowered and gathered into someone’s arms and then the American is lowered and gathered. Both can be folded at the same time.

3. In a ceremony such as a high school graduation should the National Anthem be performed before or after the Pledge of Allegiance?
Answer: The National Anthem is played while the flag is being raised or when the color team (guard) posts to the front of the auditorium. The Pledge of Allegiance is recited after the flag is raised or when the color team posts to the front of the auditorium in place of the Anthem. There is no need for both the Anthem and Pledge. One or the other suffices.

What’s Wrong with This Parade Picture?

I haven’t posted one of these in a while. So, what is wrong with this picture? The flag is being carried by some great US marines in a parade. And let’s be clear, everyone involved is well-intentioned and I am not pointing things out to put down any individual. However, there is a Flag Code and what I’m abut to point out is quite clear.

The “Wrongs” of this Picture

  1. A flag is never to be carried flat, always aloft and free. So, the other mistakes only compound this. Yes, I understand that America has presented her flag flat on football fields and elsewhere for years now, but that does not negate the fact the we are not supposed to do it. “Aloft and free” has meaning. Draped over a casket is an entirely different subject.
  2. The blue field or, canton, is supposed to be either:
    1. On the right side of the photo- think of the six Marines as pall bearers, the canton must be over the left shoulder of the deceased while the casket is carried feet first, or
    2. At the leading edge on the left of the picture.
  3. Technically, the flag should be held taught.

Like I said in number one, the flag is not carried flat. Period. The other mistakes are merely incidental.

Photo: A friend passed this along to me and I do not know the origin.

Special Report: US Flag Not Dipped During Parade of Nations

That’s right, the American flag was not dipped to the “royal” box during the 2012 Olympics Parade of Nations in London, England.

“Disrespect!” you say? Nonsense. Our Flag Code give us the guidance of not dipping the flag. Other countries are different and that’s fine. America not wiping the ground with Old Glory means we hold our flag in high esteem as the symbol of our nation.

Here is a picture of gold medal-winning fencer, Mariel Zagunis, carrying the American flag from last Friday. Click on the image and you can read about her at Guideposts.