The Flag of the United States of America










The Pledge of Allegiance

I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

According to the Code of Laws of the United States of America (the compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal laws of our country), in Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 4, you will find the following:


"4 USC § 4 - Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery"

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”, should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.

 To view the full Code of Laws of the United States, click here:


Display or Use of the United States Flag

When displaying, presenting, or using the US Flag with other flags, the United States Flag always holds the place of honor and precedence -- which means it is always placed to its own right (as it faces you, there are no flags to its right; as you are looking at it, there are no flags to its left).


When military branch flags are also in place, they are to be displayed in accordance to the date of the 'birth' of the branch which they represent.  Confusion sometimes takes place with the proper placement of the Marine and Navy flags. The confusion comes in with the fact that the Navy was birthed on October 13, 1775 and the Marines on November 10, 1775 -- thus, many place the Navy flag before the Marine flag, not realizing that the Navy was abolished and our ships sold by the end of 1785.  When our Constitution was ratified in 1789, Congress was authorized to re-establish the Navy -- and our country's Department of the Navy was formed on April 30, 1798 (thus placing it after the 'birth' of the Marines).  

The formal/official order of proper military formation and military flag precedence is governed by Department of Defense Directive 1005.8 dated October 31, 1977.  (DOD Directive 1005.8 attached).  When displayed in proper unison order, the order is based on the branch birth date, thus: Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard (as in the picture at the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC -- shown above).
  • The U.S. Army birthday is June 14, 1775, created by an act of the Continental Congress, making it the first branch of the U.S. military.  Its flag goes first when displayed with other military branch flags.  The official United States Army flag currently being used was adopted by presidential order on June 12,1956.

  • The U.S. Marine Corps birthday is Nov. 10, 1775, created by an act of the Continental Congress.  Its flag follows the U.S. Army flag.  The design of the Marine Corps flag was adopted on January 18,1939.

  • The U.S. Navy official birthday is Oct. 13, 1775, but as the branch was abolished and then reinstatement, its flag follows the U.S. Marine Corps flag.  The official United States Navy flag itself was authorized on April 24, 1959 and introduced to the public on April 30 of that year.

  • The U.S. Air Force birthday is Sept. 18, 1947, formed from the former Army Air Corps and created by the National Security Act of 1947.  The order of display for its branch flag follows the U.S. Navy flag.  The official flag of the Air Force was adopted in March 26, 1951.

  • The U.S. Coast Guard birthday is Aug. 4, 1790. The Coast Guard flag is displayed last because during peace time, the Coast Guard is a unit of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (as of 2003) rather than the Department of Defense.  During times of war, if the Coast Guard is moved by presidential order to become a unit of the U.S. Department of Defense, the flag's order would follow the Navy and precede the Air Force flag.  The current flag for the Coast Guard was officially adopted on January 28, 1964.

THUS -- as we are facing the flags and looking at them in a line, it would be:

US FLAG - Army Flag - Marine Flag - Navy Flag - Air Force Flag - Coast Guard Flag.




In a display, the United States Flag may take the center position when it is taller then the other flags and is placed to the front.  The other flags would then be placed in the order of precedence: to the left, then to the right -- to the left, and then to the right -- etc.




For more information on the specifics of the display of the United states Flag, see Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 7, of the Code of Laws of the United States:


"4 USC § 7 - Position and manner of display"

The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag’s own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.
(a) The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in subsection (i) of this section.
(b) The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
(c) No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof: Provided, That nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations.
(d) The flag of the United States of America, 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.
(e) The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.
(f) When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the United States flag’s right.
(g) When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.
(h) When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.
(i) When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, that is, to the observer’s left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.
(j) When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.
(k) When used on a speaker’s platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman’s or speaker’s right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the audience.
(l) The flag should form a distinctive feature of the ceremony of unveiling a statue or monument, but it should never be used as the covering for the statue or monument.
(m) The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff, and the same authority is provided to the Mayor of the District of Columbia with respect to present or former officials of the District of Columbia and members of the Armed Forces from the District of Columbia. When the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, or the Mayor of the District of Columbia, issues a proclamation under the preceding sentence that the National flag be flown at half-staff in that State, territory, or possession or in the District of Columbia because of the death of a member of the Armed Forces, the National flag flown at any Federal installation or facility in the area covered by that proclamation shall be flown at half-staff consistent with that proclamation. The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President; 10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day. As used in this subsection—
      (1) the term “half-staff” means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;
      (2) the term “executive or military department” means any agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5, United States Code; and
      (3) the term “Member of Congress” means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.
(n) When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.
(o) When the flag is suspended across a corridor or lobby in a building with only one main entrance, it should be suspended vertically with the union of the flag to the observer’s left upon entering. If the building has more than one main entrance, the flag should be suspended vertically near the center of the corridor or lobby with the union to the north, when entrances are to the east and west or to the east when entrances are to the north and south. If there are entrances in more than two directions, the union should be to the east.



 Know the daily flag status of the United States Flag.  To the left is today's time, date, and national flag status.  To the right you will find notifications of National and Connecticut (home of Precious Stars) Half Staff Notifications and the reason for them

 States lower their United States flags to half staff in accordance with National flag status and also per order of the Governor of the State on specific occasions (other States may or may not lower their flags on the date, it will depend on that State's governor).





 While serving as the 2009 - 2010 National Patriotic Instructor for the Blue Star Mothers of America, I wrote the following article:


FLAG DAY -- June 14, 2010
In the United States of America, "National Flag Week" is recognized in June during the week in which the 14th of June falls.   June 14th itself being, "Flag Day", the date in 1777 when the Second Continental Congress adopted the official flag of the United States.
July 4th, Independence Day, is the date set for the celebration of the birthday of our country.  June 14th, Flag Day, the date set to celebrate our national flag, which we so dearly love.
It was on June 14, 1861, in Hartford, Connecticut, during the first summer of the Civil War, that  the United States Flag was first flown in a Flag Day celebration.   Although the annual observance of this celebration did not become a tradition in Hartford, it was recorded in the Kansas: a Cyclopedia of State History, published in 1912 by the  Standard Publishing Company of Chicago, IL, that one George Morris of Hartford, was the first person to suggest the day: 
"To George Morris of Hartford, Conn., is popularly given the credit of suggesting "Flag Day," the occasion being in honor of the adoption of the American flag on June 14, 1777. The city of Hartford observed the day in 1861, carrying out a program of a patriotic order, praying for the success of the Federal arms and the preservation of the Union."
More widely known is one Bernard Cigrand, who is often sited for the initial suggestion of the observance of Flag Day, as he wrote the popular article printed in the Chicago Argus Newspaper in June of 1886, "The Fourteenth of June".  As a grade school teacher at the Stony Hill School in Waubeka, Wisconsin, he had had his students formally observe the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of our flag  as 'Flag Birthday' in 1885.  And he continued to actively advocate for such an observance, calling it "Flag Birthday" or "Flag Day", believing it should be recognized annual as a national tradition.  He spoke and wrote extensively as the President of the American Flag Day Association,  and later the National Flag Day Society.
On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held its first Flag Day celebration.  It is believed that Betsy Ross, an official flag maker for the Pennsylvania Navy, may have stitched the 13 white stars on a blue background, 13 red and white striped flag, used on June 14, 1777, when the Continental Congress authorized 'The Stars and Stripes'; Old Glory, The Star Spangled Banner, our nation's flag.  Though the number of stars have changed over the years to reflect the number of united States (now being 50 in number), there remains 13 equal, horizontal, red (top and bottom) and white stripes (though for a short time there were 15), representing the original 13 colonies (which were the first States in the Union).   
In 1894, it was directed by the governor of New York, Roswell P. Flower, that the United States flag be displayed on all public buildings on June 14.  It is believed that Fairfield, Washington, has held the longest (oldest) continuous observance of a Flag Day parade, beginning as early as 1909 or 1910.  And it was in 1916 that President Woodrow Wilson issued the proclamation calling for a nationwide observance to take place on June 14 of that year.
Pennsylvania was the first state to celebrate "Flag Day" as a state holiday (beginning in the town of Rennerdale, Pennsylvania), on June 14, 1937.  And on August 3, 1949, President Harry Truman signed legislation that was to officially designate June 14 of each year as "Flag Day".
On June 14, 2004, the 108th Congress voted on H.R. 662, which officially declared that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee Country, Wisconsin. 
Although not a federal holiday, "Flag Day" is a nationwide observance;  and  Title 36 of the United States Code, Subtitle I, Part A, CHAPTER 1 which outlines 'Patriotic and National Observances';  is specific to 'Flag Day' in § 110.    In 1966, our Congress made request that each United States President would hence forth annually proclaim the week in which June 14th occurred, National Flag Week.
"Flag Day" is celebrated with flag raising events, patriotic programs, ceremonies, parades, essay contests, music tributes, and the like, which show our patriotism and pride in all that our nation stands for.  The flag is to be treated with the utmost honor and respect, and handled with great dignity and care.  The national flag is not a toy, but rather that which represents the life blood and blood shed for the establishment and preservation our nation.  It holds hope in a future of peace gained by the sacrifices of today.  The twenty-one day time period following "Flag Day" is known as 'Honor America Days'.  This period of time lasts from the celebration of "Flag Day" through the celebration of "Independence Day".  This is the time to honor America and all that our nation stands for. 
Each year, the President of the United States calls for the flag to be displayed on all government buildings and urges all US residents to observe the celebration of "Flag Day".  This years proclamation can be found at:
 ~ Rev. Lin











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