The American flag has been our national symbol for over 230 years, and
it remains a beacon of freedom wherever it is flown. Since the Second
Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as our flag in 1777,
it has stood for freedom, justice, and the resolve of our Nation.
1858 Flag with 32 stars Minnesota (May 11,
US Flag Frequently Asked Questions
Lowering the U.S.
Did you know
that the law requires the U.S. flag be lowered in tribute on only a few
days each year? Quite appropriately, one of these days is the
observance of the National Fallen
Firefighters Memorial Service.
On October 16,
2001, President George W. Bush approved legislation requiring the U.S.
flag to be lowered to half-staff on all Federal buildings to
memorialize fallen firefighters. Public Law 107-51 requires this action
to occur annually in conjunction with observance of the National Fallen
Firefighters Memorial Service.
local media know that U.S. flags across the country will be lowered on
Sunday, October 5, 2008. This includes the U.S. Capitol and the White
House, as well as buildings in your local community.
to lower the U.S. flags at your home, fire department, and business.
Encourage your local community to follow the Federal Government's
example. When you lower your flag this year, you will recognize the
brave men and women who died protecting their communities from natural
and manmade emergencies and disasters and those who carry on the proud
also want to ask your state and local officials to include lowering the
flag in a proclamation recognizing the brave men and women who made the
What is the proper way to wear a flag patch on one's shoulder
Right or "reversed field" flag
To wear our country's flag properly, the field of stars should
worn closest to your heart. Thus, if your patch is to be worn on your
LEFT sleeve, use a left flag. For patches worn on your RIGHT sleeve,
use a "right" or "reversed field" flag. Since the law does not
specifically address the positioning of the patch, a decision is left
to the discretion of the organization prescribing the wear. Some elect
to use the "left" flag on both sleeves. [Note: many states and cities
have ordinances pertaining to the use of the flag; you may wish to
contact the Attorney General of your state or the City Attorney's
office regarding this matter.] If you are planning to wear only one
patch, it is recommended that you wear a "left" flag on your left
sleeve. Military guidelines once specified that in support of joint or
multi-national operations, the "right" flag is worn on the right
sleeve, 1/4" below the shoulder seam or 1/8" below any required unit
patches. Now, this has been made a permanent requirement (Class A
US Flag Code
The laws relating to the flag of the United States of America are found
in detail in the United States Code. Title 4, Chapter 1 pertains to the
flag; Title 18, Chapter 33, Section 700 regards criminal penalties for
flag desecration; Title 36, Chapter 3 pertains to patriotic customs and
observances. These laws were supplemented by Executive Orders and