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American Flag FAQ

What do you do if your American flag touches the ground?
You should avoid having your American flag touch the ground, but if it does and you find that there is dirt on your flag, you should gently cleanse it and do your best not to let it touch the ground again.
 
How do you retire a flag that is no longer in good condition? The US Flag code states: "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning." Some groups you can contact to help with the appropriate disposal of your flag:
Can I let my American flag fly during bad weather?
Since most flags today are designed to withstand the elements (sturdy nylon or heavy duty polyester) you can leave your US flag flying in poor weather. The flag code does not preclude this activity.
 
Can I wash my flag and can I repair my flag if it has a tear?
If your flag is torn, you should have flag repair done by a professional (if at all possible). This could be a person experienced with tailoring or with flags in particular. You can wash a dirty flag, but be careful to wash it with a gentle cleanser or to follow the explicit washing instructions given to you when you purchase the flag. Remember that if the flag is in very poor condition, it should be retired properly and you should replace it with a new American flag.
 
Can a Homeowners Association forbid the display of the American Flag?
This is an issue that is currently being disputed across the country. There may be pending legislation in your state to forbid the limitation of display of the American flag so you should write to your congressman or state representative to express your support.
 
When should I fly my flag at half mast?
You can only fly your flag at half mast if the President or your Governor has declared that it should be so. You can also display the flag at half mast until Noon on Memorial Day. The flag should not be displayed at half mast for personal reasons. Upon the death of a President, the flag flies at half mast for 30 days, while it flies at half mast for 10 days for a Vice President.
 
What do some US Flags have fringe?
Flags used indoors or for specific ceremonies may have gold fringe. The fringe is considered appropriate but does not represent anything specific.
 
Where does the United States dictate that the American flag fly all the time?
The flag flies in millions of places 24 hours a day, but in some special locations in the US, the American flag flies all of the time and is properly illuminated (as per the flag code).
  • Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Flag House Square, Baltimore, Maryland
  • United States Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima), Arlington, Virginia
  • The Green of the Town of Lexington, Massachusetts
  • The White House, Washington, DC.
  • Washington Monument, Washington, DC.
  • United States Customs Ports of Entry
  • Grounds of the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge State Park, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania