Residential American Flag Hanging Etiquette


Rules for the proper display of the American flag can be found in Titles 4, 18 and 36 of the U.S. Code, according to These guidelines were created by executive order or presidential proclamation, according to the website. While many rules for civilian display follow the more commonly known guidelines for public display, there are a few wrinkles that apply to residential settings.

Touching the Ground

The rule that most Americans are probably familiar with is the guideline that the flag should never touch the ground, and that applies to residential flag displays as well. In all settings, allowing the U.S. flag to touch the ground is a sign of disrespect, according to, the website of the Independence Hall Association in Philadelphia. Likewise, residential flags should never be tipped or lowered in deference to an individual or flown upside down unless it is a signal of "extreme distress," according to

Instructions on times of mourning

Residential flag displays follow the same rules as public displays. Individuals should lower their flag to half mast in response to a presidential or gubernatorial proclamation or upon receiving news of the death of a president, vice president or former president or vice president, according to Many residential flag poles cannot be lowered. In this case, a black streamer the length of the flag should be attached right below the spearhead so that it flies above the flag itself, according to

When to fly the flag

Residential flags should be flown from sunrise to sunset and only during times of decent weather, according to Residential flags can be flown at night if they are properly illuminated, according to the website.


Not all residential flags can be flown on flag poles. If displaying a flag on a wall or in a window, the union (blue part) should be top left from the observers point of view, according to No flags should be placed above the American flag, according to the americanflagstore. Should two different flags be displayed on crossed staffs, such as a table setting or decoration, the American flag is to its right (observers left), and its staff should be on top of the other flag, according to

Flag size

Most residential flags are either 3 feet by 5 feet or 4 feet by 6 feet, according to The flag pole determines the appropriate size for a residential flag. The length of the flag should be one quarter of the size of the pole, according to

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About this Author

Eryn Travis has 15 years of freelance writing experience. She has written for Aviation News Today and was the managing producer and host for the cable TV news show, Aviation News Today. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Maryland and is finishing up a master's degree in communication studies from West Chester University.

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