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United States Flag - Documentation


Authorization
. The flag of the United States is the symbol of our nation. The union, white stars on a field of blue, is the honor point of the flag. The union of the flag, and the flag itself when in company with other flags, is always given the honor position; for example, the marching right, the flag's own right or an observer's left facing the flag.

b. The flag of the United States must always be of current design as prescribed by Chapters 1 Title 4, United States Code (4 USC Chapter 1, The Flag). The US flag will always be displayed or carried in ceremonies when any other flags are displayed or carried.


Time and Occasion for Display

a. The flag of the United States will be displayed outdoors at all Army installations.

b. Only one flag of the United States will be flown at one time at any continental United States (CONUS) Army installation, except as authorized by the Commanding Generals of Army Commands (ACOMs), Army Service Component Commands (ASCCs), or Direct Reporting Units (DRUs). Installations which have other federal agencies as tenants may permit those federal agencies to display the US flag on or in front of their facility.

c. The flag of the United States is the only flag that may be flown from a flagpole over a CONUS Army installation unless an exception is granted as specified below. However, the Minuteman flag, the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) flag, the Retiree flag, or the Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award flag, when authorized, may be flown beneath the flag of the United States without referral for exception. The POW/MIA flag will be flown beneath the flag of the United States on Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Day, Veterans Day, and on occasions where the installation is hosting POW/MIA activities. The Retiree flag may be flown on Veterans Day or occasions when the installation is sponsoring activities for retirees such as open house or retiree day. Not more than one flag will be displayed below the flag of the United States and, if displayed, will be approximately 6 inches below the flag of the United States. The ACOMs, ASCCs and DRUs have the authority to authorize the flying of other flags in addition to that of the Flag of the United States. Overseas commanders have this same authority subject to applicable international agreement.

d. The flag of the United States should be displayed with foreign national flags at overseas installations according to applicable international agreements.

e. The flag of the United States will be displayed daily from reveille to retreat.

f. ACOM, ASCC and DRU commanders may authorize permanent or semi-permanent (more than one week at a time) 24-hour display of the flag provided the flag is properly illuminated with its own source of light during hours of darkness.

g. Local or installation commanders may authorize nighttime display of the flag of the United States during special events or on special occasions, provided the flag is properly illuminated.


Sizes and Occasions for Display

National Flags for Outdoor Display


Garrison Flag
Size: 20-foot hoist by 38-foot fly, of approved material.
(The post flag may be flown in lieu of the garrison flag.) The garrison flag may be flown on the following holidays and special occasions:

(a) New Year's Day, 1 January.

(b) Inauguration Day, 20 January every fourth year.

(c) Martin Luther King, Jr's Birthday, third Monday in January.

(d) Presidentís Day, third Monday in February.

(e) Easter Sunday (variable).

(f) Loyalty Day and Law Day, USA, 1 May.

(g) Mother's Day, second Sunday in May.

(h) Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May.

(i) National Maritime Day, 22 May.

(j) Memorial Day, last Monday in May.

(k) Flag Day, 14 June.

(l) Father's Day, third Sunday in June.

(m) Independence Day, 4 July.

(n) National Aviation Day, 19 August.

(o) Labor Day, first Monday in September.

(p) Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, 17 September.

(q) Gold Star Mother's Day, last Sunday in September.

(r) Columbus Day, second Monday in October.

(s) Veterans Day, 11 November.

(t) Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November.

(u) Christmas Day, 25 December.

(v) Important occasions as designated by Presidential Proclamation or Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA).

(w) Celebration of a regional nature when directed by the installation commander.

Post Flag
Size: 8-foot 11 3/8-inch hoist by 17-foot fly, of approved material.
The post flag is flown daily except when the garrison and storm flags are flown. When a garrison flag is not available, the post flag will be flown on holidays and important occasions.

Field Flag
Size: 6-foot 8-inch hoist by 12-foot fly, of approved material.
The field flag may be displayed from a flag pole only when distinguished visitors are present and only with the positional field flag.

Storm Flag
Size: 5-foot hoist by 9-foot 6-inch fly, of approved material.
The storm flag is flown in inclement weather.

Interment Flag
Size: 5-foot hoist by 9-foot 6 inch fly, of approved material.
The interment flag is authorized for deceased military personnel and for deceased veterans. Upon application to the nearest postmaster, the Veterans Administration will provide flags for deceased veterans.

Boat Flag
Size: 3-foot hoist by 4-foot fly, of approved material.
The U.S. boat flag is displayed only with positional boat flag colors and general officers flags.

Ensign
Size: 2-foot 4 7/16-inch hoist by 4-foot 6-inch fly, of approved material.
The ensign will be displayed on vessels when required to indicate nationality.

Union Jack
The union jack consists of a blue base with white stars similar in all respects to the union of the flag of the United States. The union jack is flown on ships at anchor or tied up at pier. When flown with the flag of the United States, the union jack will be the same size as the union of the national color being flown.

Grave Decoration Flag
Size: 7-inch hoist by 11-inch fly, of cotton muslin.

Automobile Flags

(a) 12-inch hoist by 18-inch fly, of approved material, trimmed on three sides with fringe 1 1/2 inches wide. This flag is to be displayed with the individual automobile flag of the President and Vice President of the United States.

(b) 18-inch hoist by 26-inch fly, of approved material trimmed on three sides with fringes 1 1/2 inches wide. This flag is to be displayed on automobiles of authorized individuals.

National flags for Indoor Display (and for use in ceremonies and parades)


For these purposes, the flag of the United States will be of rayon banner cloth or heavyweight nylon, trimmed on three sides with golden yellow fringe, 2 1/2 inches wide. It will be the same size or larger than other flags displayed or carried at the same time.

Size: 4-foot 4-inch Hoist by 5-foot 6-inch Fly
This size flag will be displayed with the United States Army flag, organizational flag of Army Commands, positional colors, the Corps of Cadetsí color, the 1st Battalion, 3d Infantry color, the 4-foot 4-inch by 5-foot 6-inch chapel flag and the individual flag of a General of the Army.

Size: 3-foot Hoist by 4-foot Fly
This size flag will be displayed with the Army Field flag, distinguishing flags, organizational colors, and institutional flags of the same size. It will also be displayed within the offices listed in c below when no other positional or organizational flags are authorized.

Authorization for Indoor Display


The flag of the United States is authorized for indoor display for each:

(a) Office, headquarters, and organization authorized a positional color, distinguishing flag, or organizational color.

(b) Organization of battalion size or larger, temporary or permanent, not otherwise authorized a flag of the United States.

(c) Military offices not otherwise authorized an indoor flag of the United States, for the purpose of administering oaths of office.

(d) Military courtroom.

(e) US Army element of joint commands, military groups, and missions. One flag is authorized for any one headquarters operating in a dual capacity.

(f) Subordinate element of the US Army Recruiting Command.

(g) ROTC unit.

(h) Senior Executive Service (SES) employee for permanent retention.


Prohibitions

The following rules will be observed:

(1) No lettering or object of any kind will be placed on the flag of the United States.

(2) No other flag or pennant will be placed above the flag of the United States or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag.

(3) The flag of the United States, when flown at a military post or when carried by troops, will not be dipped by way of salute or compliment.

(4) The flag of the United States will always be displayed flat or hanging free. It will not be festooned over doorways or arches, tied in a bow knot, or fashioned into a rosette.

(5) The flag will not be used to cover a speaker's stand or to drape the front of a platform. Bunting of the national colors, arranged with the blue above, white in the middle, and red below, should be used for this purpose and for general decoration.


Position and Manner of Display

Ceremonies and Parades


(1) The flag of the United States will be carried on all ceremonial occasions when two or more companies or an appropriate honor guard participates. It is always displayed in the position of honor.

(2) When the flag of the United States is carried in a procession with other flags, the place of the flag of the United States is on the marching right; or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.

(3) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally but always aloft and free.

(4) When the flag of the United States is displayed from a vehicle, the staff of the flag will be clamped firmly to the right front fender.


With Foreign National Flags


When the flag of the United States is displayed with foreign national flags, all flags will be comparable in size. The flagstaffs or flagpoles on which they are flown will be of equal height. The tops of all flags should be of equal distance from the ground.

From Staffs


(1) When a number of flags are grouped and displayed from staffs radiating from a central point, and no foreign flags are involved, the flag of the United States will be in the center and at the highest point of the group.

(2) When a number of flags are displayed from staffs set in a line, the flag of the United States will be at the right; that is, to the left of an observer facing the display. However, if no foreign national flags are involved, the flag of the United States may be placed at the center of the line providing it is displayed at a higher level.


With State Flags


When the flag of the United States is displayed with State flags, all of the state flags will be of comparable size. They will be displayed from separate flagstaffs of equal height set on the same level.


Against a Wall


(1) The flag of the United States, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag's own right, and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.

(2) When the flag of the United States is displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union will be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is to the observer's left facing the display.

(3) When displayed on the wall of a stage, it will be placed above and behind the speaker's stand.


In an Auditorium, Meeting Hall, or Chapel


When the U.S. flag is displayed from a staff in an auditorium meeting hall, or chapel, whether on the same floor level or on a platform, it should be in the position of honor at the speaker's or chaplain's right facing the audience or congregation in accordance with Section 7, Title 4, United States Code. Other flags should be placed on the left of the speaker or chaplain; that is, to the right of the audience.


Halfstaff


(1) For occasions and durations of halfstaff display of the flag of the United States, see AR 600-25.

(2) When the flag of the United States is displayed at halfstaff, it is first hoisted to the top of the staff for an instant, then lowered to the halfstaff position. The flag should again be raised to the top of the staff before it is lowered for the day.

(3) The flag is in a halfstaff position when it is in any position below the top of the pole. Generally the position of the flag is at halfstaff when the middle point of the hoist of the flag is halfway between the top of the staff and the foot. In the case of a flagpole with crosstree or guy cable, the flag should be halfway between the top of the pole and the top of the crosstree or point of attachment of the guy cables.

(4) In accordance with the provisions of Section 7, Title 4, United States Code (4 USC 7), when the President directs that the flag be flown at halfstaff at military facilities, naval vessels, and stations abroad, it will be so flown whether or not the flag of another nation is full staff alongside the U.S. flag.


Placed in Mourning


Flags carried by troops will not be placed in mourning unless ordered by the President or the Secretary of the Army. When so ordered, a streamer of black crepe 7 feet long and 1 foot wide will be attached to the staff at the center of the streamer immediately below the spearhead of the U.S. flag and the organizational flag.


Lowering and Folding


(1) While the flag of the United States is being lowered from the staff and folded, no portion of it should be allowed to touch the ground. The flag should be folded in the triangular shape of a cocked hat.

(2) For the ceremonies of hoisting and lowering, see FM 3-21-5.


At Military Funerals


(1) The interment flag covers the casket at the military funeral of any of the following:

(a) Members of the active military force.

(b) Members of the Army National Guard.

(c) Members of the Army Reserve.

(d) Honorably discharged veterans.

(e) Retired military personnel.

(2) On a closed casket, the flag will be placed lengthwise, with the union at the head and over the left shoulder of the deceased. When a full-couch casket is opened, the flag will be removed, folded to the triangular shape of a cocked hat and placed in the lid at the head end of the casket and just above the decedent's left shoulder. When a half-couch casket is opened, the flag will be folded on the lower half of the casket in the same relative position as when displayed full length on a closed casket. The flag will not be lowered into the grave, and it will not be allowed to touch the ground. The interment flag may be given to the next of kin at the conclusion of the internment.


Cords and tassels

A cord 8-foot 6-inch in length with a tassel at each end is attached at the center of the cord below the finial on the staff of the U.S. flag only when it is displayed with a flag also equipped with a cord and tassel. Only 4-foot, 4-inch by 5-foot, 6-inch positional colors and the color of the U.S. Corps of Cadets are authorized a cord and tassel. The colors of the cord and tassel for the US flag are red, white, and blue when displayed by the Army.


Disposition

Unserviceable U.S. flags should be destroyed privately, preferably by burning, shredding or by some other method that does not show irreverence or disrespect to the flag.






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