How to Hang the American Flag

American flag moon landing

The American Flag is a great source of honor and pride for many Americans. Displaying the stars and stripes prominently is a common way to show patriotism. The U.S. Flag Code gives an in-depth set of guidelines for how American Flags should be properly hung and handled. While these guidelines are not enforceable, failure to follow them could be misconstrued as disrespectful. In this article, we compiled the most common ways to properly hang an American Flag.

One of the most important rules about hanging the U.S. Flag is to never hang it upside down. The union (the upper left corner of a flag where the stars are located) should never be displayed on the bottom of the flag (upside down), unless to signal dire distress in times of extreme danger to life or property. Hanging a flag upside down can be a sign of disrespect and should be avoided.

How Do I Hang an American Flag from a Wall?

When hanging a flag horizontally or vertically on a wall, the union should be in the upper left corner from the observer’s perspective. This is one of the most common mistakes made when hanging a flag.

how to hang an american flag vertically

 In the photos above, both the correct and incorrect ways to hang a flag vertically are displayed. The photo on the left correctly has the union in the upper left corner. In the photo on the right,  we see the union in the upper right handside, which is incorrect. 

Displaying an American Flag That Will be Seen From Both Directions

When the flag will be seen from both sides, like draped over a street or from the rafters of a gymnasium, there are different guidelines to follow. In this case, the American Flag should be hung with the union on either the eastern side or northern side, depending on how it is being viewed. For example, if an American Flag was draped over a north-south street, the union should be on the eastern side.  

american flag hanging on George Washington Bridge

In the photo above, the American Flag is seen draped from the George Washington Bridge. Because the bridge travels east-west, the union should be on the northern side. This flag is hung correctly because the observer’s perspective is looking west in this photo, placing the union is on the northern side.

Hanging an American Flag from an Angled Wall Bracket

When hanging the U.S. Flag from an angled wall bracket from a building or home, the union should always be at the peak of the staff.

american flag hung from angled wall bracket

Above, we see the American Flag with the union at the flagstaff peak. Additionally, the flag is not touching anything below it, which would also violate flag code.

Displaying Two Flags With Crossed Staffs

When displaying two flags with crossed staffs against a wall, the American Flag should be on the observer’s left, with the American Flag staff crossing over the top of the other flag.

american flag crossed staffs with German flag

Above, we see the American Flag alongside the national flag of Germany. The American Flag is properly positioned on the observer’s left and the flagstaff of the American Flag is above the staff of the German flag.

Displaying Several Flags From Different Staffs

When several flags are displayed on separate flagstaffs, the U.S. Flag should be in the center of the flags and raised the highest if it is the only national flag displayed.

american flag with other flags

Above we see the American Flag properly positioned in the middle of the other flags and raised to the greatest prominence of the three. If either of these two flags were flags of other nations, this positioning would be incorrect.

When displaying the national flag of another country, it should be raised on a separate staff and at an equal height to the U.S. Flag, but never higher. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.

American flag next to national flag of France

Above we see the U.S. Flag raised alongside the flag of France. The two flags are of equal size and are raised at the same height on separate flagstaffs (the middle staff is not displaying any flag). 

Did You Know?

The largest American flag ever made to date was 505 feet wide by 225 feet tall and weighed approximately 3,000 pounds. This flag cost close to $80,000. It is currently the Guinness world record holder for the World’s largest American flag. Quality Sign Designer doesn’t make them that big, but we have large american flags for sale and small american flags for sale to suit every need.

American Flags are an honorable symbol of pride and should be displayed properly. It can be very easy to mistakenly hang an American Flag incorrectly with no ill-intent.  Take the time to make sure you hang your flag correctly and then let it fly proudly. 

Looking to buy an American Flag? Our American Flags are made in the United States at our Florida location. We use materials that are produced in the United States so that our American Flags are 100% American-made.

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