How to respect the american flag

The American flag is a representation of our country, our people, and our devotion to our nation. Respecting the American flag and the principles that it symbolizes requires us to treat it with a high level of care at all times. The United States Flag Code sets forth key guidelines for properly handling the American flag. The purpose of this article is to summarize the guidelines in the U.S. Code that relate to the display, use and care of the American flag.

How to Display the American Flag

According to the recommendations in the U.S. Code, the American flag should be displayed with respect and care.

  • The flag should not be flown with the union down (except for in rare emergencies as a sign of distress).
  • The flag should not touch the ground, floor, water, merchandise or anything beneath it.
  • The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally but always aloft and free.
  • The flag should not be dipped to any person or thing.

How to Respectfully Use the American Flag

American flag coffee cups, sweatshirts and curtains are not patriotic; on the contrary, U.S. Code considers these to be disrespectful toward the flag.

  • The flag should never be worn as apparel or used as bedding, curtains or covering for a ceiling.
  • The flag should not be used for advertising purposes. For example, the flag should not be embroidered or printed on cushions, napkins, boxes or anything else that is discarded after temporary use. Advertisement posters should not be attached to a flagpole.
  • The flag should never have words, designs or any other mark drawn or attached to it. It is not respectful to “get creative” and make new art from a US flag.
  • The flag should not be used as a costume or athletic uniform.
  • The flag should not be used for delivering, carrying or receiving something.

How to Care for the American Flag

Finally, having respect for the flag means keeping it in a good condition. One should make sure their flag is clean, dry and protected from harsh conditions.

  • The flag should never be stored or used in a way that it could be easily torn or damaged.

The American flag is more than the cloth and colors that we see. The flag embodies the principles, history and people who make the United States what it is.

Here’s how to properly adhere to U.S. flag code when flying Old Glory at home.

Displaying an American flag is a great way to show off your love for our country. However, your act of patriotism can quickly become (unintentionally) disrespectful if you’re unaware of an important set of rules. The U.S. Flag Code, established by Congress in 1942, offers guidelines for treating this national symbol with dignity.

You can fly the American flag on all days, but the Flag Code especially recommends displaying it on Independence Day, as well as other major holidays like Flag Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day.

Take note: Memorial Day has its own flag etiquette. The American flag should be flown at half-mast from sunrise until noon, then raised to full mast for the rest of the holiday.

Brush up on the rest of your flag etiquette ahead of Memorial Day weekend by learning how to fly the Stars and Stripes the right way.

There’s a right and a wrong way to hang the flag vertically.

Don’t hang your flag backwards, upside down, or in another inappropriate fashion. If you’re hanging your flag vertically (like from a window or against a wall), the Union portion with the stars should go on the observer’s left. Never dip the flag to any person or anything.

How to respect the american flag

Avoid letting the flag touch the ground.

Prevent your flag from touching the ground, floor, or water. It’s not necessary to dispose of your flag if it accidentally hits the pavement, but you should make sure that it’s in good condition before displaying it again.

Know the difference between half-staff and half-mast.

There is a difference between half-staff and half-mast, even though they’re commonly used interchangeably. “Half-mast” technically refers to a flag flown on a ship’s mast, while “half-staff” describes flags flown on land.

Fly your flag on half-staff at the right times.

The flag is flown at half-staff when the nation is in mourning, such as for the death of government official or for remembrance, as well as from sunrise to noon on Memorial Day. When flying the flag at half-staff, first hoist it to the peak for an instant and then lower to the half-staff position.

Half-staff is defined as one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the flagpole. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.

How to respect the american flag

Only fly a flag at night if it is illuminated.

Custom dictates that you should display flags only from sunrise to sunset, but you can keep the stars and stripes flying 24 hours a day if it is properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

How to respect the american flag

How to respect the american flag

Don’t fly the flag when it rains.

If the forecast calls for inclement weather, you’re not supposed to display the flag — except if it’s an all-weather flag. However, most flags these day are made of all-weather, non-absorbent materials like nylon, the American Legion states.

Always fly the American flag above other flags.

That includes state and city flags. If they have to be at the same level (i.e., you’re hanging them vertically from a house or porch), put the American flag on the left. Always hoist the American flag first and lower it last.

Only fly a flag in good condition.

No matter how well you take care of Old Glory, sometimes age just wears down a flag. Newer flags made with synthetic materials can be machine washed in cold water with a mild detergent, and hung to dry.

How to respect the american flag

Older, more fragile flags should be hand washed using Woolite or a similar product. Small tears can be repaired by hand, so long as the mends aren’t overtly visible when the flag is displayed. Flags that are overly worn, torn, or faded should be properly disposed of.

Dispose of an old flag in a respectful manner.

The Federal Flag Code says that unserviceable flags should be burned in a respectful, ceremonial manner, but do so discreetly so people don’t misinterpret your intentions. If it is illegal to burn synthetic materials in your state or you feel uncomfortable doing so, contact your local American Legion post to find out if they have flag disposal ceremonies, which commonly occur on Flag Day, June 14. Local Scout troops are another resource for disposing your retired flag in a dignified and respectful way.

Fold your flag before storing it.

The American flag is traditionally folded in a specific arrangement, but we guarantee it’s easier than folding a fitted sheet. When you have to store your flag, grab another person to help you. Begin by holding it parallel to the ground with another person, and fold the lower stripes lengthwise over the Union, keeping the edges of the flag crisp and straight. Fold it lengthwise again, keeping the blue Union on the outside.

How to respect the american flag

Now make a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to the open edge of the flag, and then turn the outer point parallel to the open edge to make a second triangle. Continue making triangular folds until the whole flag is folded into one triangle of blue and white stars.

Skip clothing and objects with flags on them.

While this section of the Flag Code is rarely observed, the guidelines advise against using the flag on clothing, costumes, athletic uniforms, bedding, cushions, handkerchiefs, other décor, and temporary-use items like paper napkins and boxes. It does permit flag pins worn over the left lapel and flags on military and first responder uniforms.

However, the Supreme Court ruled in 1984 in the case Texas v. Johnson that the government can’t enforce flag-protection laws, so you won’t get arrested for wearing an American flag T-shirt. Do whatever feels most respectful and appropriate to you.

Avoid these common flag mistakes, too.

Besides wearing flag-covered clothing, there are a couple other Flag Code violations that you can easily avoid. Most of these concern flag placement — a flag should never touch anything beneath it while it’s flying, it should never been used as covering for a ceiling, and you should never place anything on the flag (like a “mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature”).

What comes to mind when you think of the American flag?

Patriotism? Honor? How about the land of the free and home of the brave?

How to respect the american flag

Quite frankly, the Stars and Stripes represent all of these things and more! It’s a living symbol of our national identity; the icon of our history and principles that we rally around in difficult times. The Star-Spangled Banner even flies on the moon !

All things considered, it’s no wonder so many of us choose to show respect to the flag by displaying it from our homes. However, what fewer people realize is that there are strict guidelines around the practice. There are set rules and procedures we all must follow to ensure we show our flag (and everything it stands for) an appropriate level of respect.

How to respect the american flag

Want to find out all about them? Check out this comprehensive guide on the right way to display the American flag.

Don’t Let It Touch the Ground

The first rule of flying the American flag is to keep it off the ground at all cost! There are both practical and symbolic reasons for this particular rule. Think about it: keeping your flag off the floor prevents it from ever landing in the dirt, or from being soiled.

In effect, you’re treating it like something sacred ; with deference and admiration. It isn’t defiled or spoiled and, as a result, you only ever fly a pristine Star-Spangled Banner from your home! Everything about the practice demonstrates your respect for the flag and what it represents.

You Can Display It Every Day of the Year

According to the official US Flag Code, we’re free to fly the flag throughout the entire year. Weekdays, weekends, public holidays…You name it, and you’re allowed to display the Stars and Stripes. But don’t worry if you don’t want to start flying a flag on such a regular basis!

Many people around the country choose to display it only on special days and celebrations instead. In fact, this is when the guidelines tell us to do it. Be sure to break out and hoist the flag whenever New Year’s Day, Inauguration Day, Easter Sunday, Independence Day, and other occasions of that ilk come about.

Lower the Flag in Inclement Weather

There are one or two notable exceptions to the previous rule. For instance, it’s true that you’re encouraged to fly the flag every single day. Yet that’s only the case if/when the weather’s good enough to do it .

The guidelines state that you should a) take it down if the conditions turn during the day and b) refuse to put it up in the first place in inclement weather. That’s why you rarely see the American flag when it’s windy, raining, or snowing outside! It’s another way to show respect to the Star-Spangled Banner and what it means to our country.

Hate the idea of not displaying the flag? Don’t worry! One way around this rule is to buy an all-weather flag, which you’re allowed to hoist regardless of what the weather’s doing.

Don’t Display the Flag at Night

General flag flying practice states that you should display the flag every day from sunrise to sunset. In other words, you’re not meant to keep it suspended from your American flagpole at night! If your flag’s on display in any open space, then you should lower it as soon as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Once again, though, there’s a handy way around this rule. Find a way to illuminate your flag throughout the night and you can keep it flying 24/7. Buy yourself an all-weather flag to go with the outdoor lighting and you’d never have to lower it!

Another bonus of illuminating your flag is for the aesthetic results it delivers. There’s something special about seeing the Stars and Stripes lit up in the evening. It’s the epitome of patriotism, which is the exact reason you’re allowed to do it.

Display It at Half-Staff in Times of Mourning

Displaying the American flag isn’t always about celebrating what it means to be American. It’s also a way to demonstrate solidarity and togetherness in challenging times.

In moments of national tragedy and mourning, for instance, everybody in the country lowers their flags to half-staff. Listen out for a presidential proclamation (or an order from your state’s governor) that’ll tell you when to do it.

Memorial Day’s another occasion when it’s customary to display the flag at half-staff. You should hoist it to the halfway position from sunrise until noon, at which point you can raise it to the top. In so doing, you’ll join the rest of the country in commemorating the brave men and women who’ve given their lives in service to America.

Hang It Right

The manner in which you should display the flag comes with its own set of guidelines. For example, many Americans hang the flag on a pole that sticks out at an angle from their porch. If you wish to do the same, then the Union (AKA, the blue part with the stars) must be at the top of the staff.

When you display it vertically or horizontally on a wall, the Union must be in the top left corner as you look at it. And if you have multiple flags flying from the same staff, then the Star-Spangled Banner should be at the top!

Show Respect by Displaying Your American Flag the Proper Way

It’s hard to overstate the significance of the American flag. This emblem of our great nation represents everything that we hold dear: our freedom, sovereignty, and shared history, among others.

That’s why it’s so important to display it correctly from our homes. Hanging the Stars and Stripes in the right way (and at the right times) is one of the best ways to show respect to everything it symbolizes.

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Is it possible those showing disrespect to the flag just need to be educated about the symbolism?

How to respect the american flag

A protester holds an American flag while protesting a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in Oakland, Calif.

The Fourth of July. The most American of days. If you left your home or scrolled your social media accounts, you undoubtedly saw disrespect towards the American flag. It isn’t a new expression of speech, but it is certainly more widespread today than in years past. So the question arises: how can you make people respect the flag?

First, let’s look at what the flag represents. Is it possible those showing disrespect to the flag just need to be educated about the symbolism? In a book about the flag published by the House of Representatives, it says in relevant part, “the star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.” The flag’s colors had no specific symbolism or meaning when the flag was adopted in 1777, however, the Great Seal of the United States did have meanings for those same colors. “The colors of the pales (the vertical stripes) are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue, the color of the Chief (the broad band above the stripes) signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.”

So there we have it: purity, innocence, hardiness, valour, vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

Do the actions committed under the flag today match this symbolism?

Does a pure country run torture camps or turn a blind eye when its allies do?

Does an innocent nation intentionally foster a civil war in which millions of civilians are killed or displaced for political and economic gain?

Does a hardy country turn away those seeking help because it is too difficult?

Does a valorous nation conduct a drone strike program in which 90% of those killed are “collateral damage”?

Do vigilant citizens let the government run amok, or should they monitor government overreach the way the Founding Fathers intended?

Does the country display the perseverance to forge ahead through danger and terror, or does it let the fear generated by a tiny minority of extremists control its foreign policy?

Is there true justice when the nation has the largest inmate population on the planet and law enforcement kills an unarmed person 10% of the time they kill someone?

It’s time to face the horrid truth. Vast quantities of Americans no longer respect the American flag because the ideas it is meant to symbolize are lost. If you started reading this in hopes of restoring respect for the flag, it’s probably your fault. Blind respect for the flag accompanied by apathy as the things it represents are destroyed has rendered the flag meaningless. It has become nothing more than a sports team bumper sticker. It’s something to show what side you’re on and help you root for the home team, while simultaneously betraying everything it was supposed to stand for.

How to respect the american flag

A pickup truck with a rear window decorated in the theme of the American flag and Statue of Liberty, sits in the parking lot in Manchester, N.H. (AP/David Goldman)

If you read the litany above and found a way to force it out of your mind, you are the problem. It’s not the punk burning the flag. It’s you, the person who claims to respect it while supporting the actions above. The college kid with the lighter may be destroying a physical flag, but you destroyed the idea of it. Which is worse? Who is really unamerican?

When the flag was first hoisted, the country didn’t live up to the symbolism. Genocide, slavery, and injustice followed it everywhere it went as the nation spread from sea to shining sea. Even with that start, the symbolism as outlined was a goal worth pursuing. It was worth the fight.

Now, when people ask for justice, the flag-waving American responds with the hashtag of #BlueLivesMatter. When refugees flee US bombs falling on a country ripped apart by a civil war instigated by the US, the country shows no valor or hardiness. It shows fear and hatred.

Your blind obedience to the state and the refusal to think about the symbolism of the flag disrespected it long before the first drop of gasoline touched it. You more than disrespected it, you killed it. The person who considers themselves a good American torched the meaning of the flag when they stopped questioning the government the way the Founding Fathers intended and when they stopped aspiring to the symbolism.

Certainly, in the comments section under wherever this article is posted, someone will mention those who fought, bled, and died for the flag. I know more combat veterans than most. None have ever told me they fought for the flag or apple pie. When the bullets started flying, they fought for their friends. Those who were really hardcore fought for the mission. It should also be noted that, on the off chance someone knows a person who truly did fight and die for a piece of cloth, recently a teenager died because he mistakenly believed he could beat a train to the crossing.

The point is: just because someone died for something they believed in doesn’t make it true. Rather than address the injustice of this soldier dying due to a mistake, you will attempt to politicize his death and allow more soldiers to die in the next war we shouldn’t be involved in.

If you want to restore respect for the American flag, it’s very simple. Make it something worthy of respect and stop treating it like a pom-pom at a football game.

How to respect the american flagAt 240 years old this year, Old Glory certainly lives up to its name and we will once again have the honor of displaying our nation’s “Stars and Stripes” to commemorate the upcoming Independence Day holiday. But before you raise your red, white and blue on July 4, make sure you are up on your flag etiquette to ensure you are paying your proper respects to one of our nation’s most respected symbols.

Exterior Display Protocol

When displaying the American flag from a balcony or your home or office, it should be hung from a securely mounted staff attached to a building, with the union (or blue field containing the stars) at the peak (or top) of the staff. If you are displaying a flag suspended over a sidewalk, the flag’s stars should be farthest from the building. When displaying a flag flat against an exterior wall—vertically or horizontally—the flag’s stars should be at the flag’s own right, which is to an observer’s left.

You should always display the flag from sunrise to sunset on buildings and outdoor stationary flagstaffs. However, a flag can be displayed 24 hours a day if it is illuminated during sundown. As far as weather concerns, the flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except if you are using an all-weather flag.

As far as adornments, it is perfectly acceptable to place a symbolic finial on your flagstaff. For example, the President, the Vice President, and many federal agencies use an eagle finial. Indoor flags are often presented with a golden fringe but, in general, it’s not a good idea to have a fringe on an outdoor flag as they deteriorate too quickly.

Remember that a flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise. However, contrary to the popular misconception, a flag need not be burned if it simply touches the ground. If the flag remains in good condition after falling to the ground by mistake, be sure to pick it up as soon as possible and rehang it. But if the flag is no longer in good condition, then it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

Interior Display Protocol

Just as in exterior wall use, when displaying a flag flat against an interior wall—vertically or horizontally—the flag’s stars should be at the flag’s own right, which is to an observer’s left.

If displaying a flag in a window, the stars should be uppermost to the left of the observer in the street.

When using a flag at a speaker’s platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be hung above and behind the speaker. Inappropriate usage includes a flag being used to cover the speaker’s table or podium or being draped to cover the front of a platform.

Other uses of the Flag—both acceptable and unacceptable

Although you probably see a lot of flag apparel this time of year, it is not acceptable. According to the US Code Title 4 Chapter 1 (The Flag) states, “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.” However, if you still want to promote patriotism on your t-shirts or other items, it is perfectly acceptable to include items that are emblazoned with our national colors (red, white and blue).

Likewise, a flag should never be used as a decoration, such as a tablecloth or tent. The flag should also never be used for advertising or promotional purposes such as paper napkins, paper plates or any other items deemed “temporary” or “disposable.” It sends a very bad message to see these items end up in a garbage can at the end of a day celebrating our nation’s heritage. A good alternative? Simply buy party decor that has a mix of our national colors to show your patriotism. One exception to this rule is the use of mini flags that should be treated with the same respect as real flags. These are especially good for children, so they can learn how to respect our nation’s most precious symbol beginning at an early age.

Above all else, when considering proper flag etiquette, always remember to respect our flag during a public ceremony or during the playing of the National Anthem. When the flag is presented in this situation, you should face the flag and stand at attention with your right hand over your heart. At 240 years old, it’s the very least we can do to pay our respects to this most treasured symbol of patriotism and freedom.

Learn when and how to display the American flag properly.

How to respect the american flag

  • Show Description of Infographic

The U.S. flag stands for our nation and the shared history, pride, principles, and commitment of its people. When we properly display this powerful symbol, we signal our respect for everything it represents.

The flag shouldn't be flown in inclement weather unless it’s an all-weather flag.

Flags displayed at night should be properly illuminated.

In a time of national mourning, hang the flag at half-mast.

The flag can be flown every day, but it is often flown to show patriotism on these observances:

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday

Washington's Birthday (Presidents Day)

National Vietnam War Veterans Day

Armed Forces Day

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

When displaying the flag…

From your porch, place the union (blue section) at the peak of the staff.

Against a wall or on a window, place the union (blue section) at the top left corner.

On your vehicle, clamp the staff to the right front fender.

With another flag, place the U.S. flag to your left when crossed.

Keep your flag completely dry and folded properly — into a triangle, with the union (blue section) visible — before storing it in a well-ventilated area. If the flag is damaged or worn out, it should be disposed of with dignity.

The flag should not touch anything below it or rest on the ground.

Source: United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1–The Flag

Brought to you by

The American Flag and Its Flying Rules

The Flag of the United States of America is a symbol of freedom and liberty to which Americans pledge their allegiance. Standing at attention and facing the flag with their right hand over the heart, they recite:

"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."

The flag’s 13 alternating red and white stripes represent the 13 original colonies. Its 50 white stars on a blue field represent the 50 states.

The colors on the flag represent:

  • Red: valor and bravery
  • White: purity and innocence
  • Blue: vigilance, perseverance, and justice

If you need additional information or have a question, you can email the Department of State’s protocol office at [email protected]

To order a U.S. flag that has flown over the Capitol, contact your senator's office.

According to U.S. Flag Code, a worn out American flag should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

Fly the American Flag at Half-Staff

The United States flag flies at half-staff (or half-mast) when the nation or a state is in mourning. The president, through a presidential proclamation, a state governor, or the mayor of the District of Columbia can order flags to fly at half-staff. Most often, this is done to mark the death of a government official, military member, or first responder; in honor of Memorial Day or other national day of remembrance; or following a national tragedy.

Learn more from the Department of Veterans Affairs about the rules and traditions for flying the flag at half-staff.

Do you have a question?

Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They’ll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.

The last word on flag etiquette is President Franklin Roosevelt’s US Flag code. Its key point: The American flag ‘represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.’ No flags as tablecloths, please.

How to respect the american flag

  • By Chelsea B. Sheasley Correspondent

Feeling the urge to unfurl your Old Glory for Independence Day?

Uncle Sam would be proud. But for the casual American flag owner, striking the right balance between patriotic and polite can be tough. No one wants to go the way of Home and Gardens TV and apologize for suggesting an American flag can be a bright and festive table runner, as it did last month.

The American flag “represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing,” according to US Flag Code. Many people consider it sacred, and abide by the Flag Code, approved by President Franklin Roosevelt on June 22, 1942, for rules on proper handling of the flag.

If you don’t know the ins and outs of flag code, or wonder if you’ll really be punished for breaking the rules, read on for a primer on how to fly the American flag without offense.

All answers in quotes are from the US Flag Code.

‘Why did we fight?’ Challenge of governing is wearing down Taliban.

Can I fly my flag at night?

“It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.”

If my flag touches the ground, do I really need to burn it?

“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.

Must the American flag be higher than all other flags?

“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.

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.”

Can the flag ever be flown upside down?

“The flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”

What if it’s raining?

“The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all weather flag is displayed.”

The flag would look great on my ceiling! Can I do that?

“The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.”

I’ve seen some cute flag crafts on Pinterest. Are they appropriate?

“The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything. The flag . should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.”

Who says I need to follow these rules?

Technically, you don’t have to, at least under federal law. The US Flag Code is a compilation of traditional rules and customs for use of the flag, first based on guidelines from the National Flag Conference in Washington ,D.C. on June 14, 1923, and does not carry the weight of law.

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Congress attempted to create criminal penalties for burning or defacing the flag, but was overruled by the US Supreme Court in 1989 and 1990.

But watch out for state law. Nearly all states have their own flag laws on the books, and several include fines and/or jail time for burning, trampling, or defacing the flag. Montana residents face the stiffest penalties: A person convicted of showing contempt for the US flag or Montana state flag can face a fine of up to $50,000 and a jail term up to 10 years, according to the First Amendment Center.

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How to respect the american flag

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Debate continues on whether kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful.

And it's a debate that received new life and support after President Donald Trump said athletes who kneel during the national anthem should be fired.

The video below sums up the recent controversy in 45 seconds.

Most of the debate has been relegated to Twitter and the sidelines.

The U.S. flag code lists the rules for respecting the American flag, and kneeling or standing during the national anthem isn't mentioned.

But there are several other ways you might be disrespecting the flag daily without knowing it.

Associated Press file photo

The flag should never be displayed with the union (the starred blue union in the canton) down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

The flag should never be stepped on.

The flag should not be used as "wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery", or for covering a speaker's desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general (exception for coffins).

Screenshot of a Minnesota State Fair photo

The flag should never be drawn back or bunched up in any way.

Screenshot of Pinterest dorm design.

The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed, or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.

The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, firefighters, police officers, and members of patriotic organizations.

The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind placed on it or attached to it.

Screenshot of flag basket on Etsy

The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

In a parade, the flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle, railroad train, or boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.

Associated Press photo

If the flag is being used at a public or private estate, it should not be hung (unless at half staff or when an all-weather flag is displayed)[10] during rain or violent weather.

When a flag is so tattered that it no longer fits to serve as a symbol of the United States, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner.

Associated Press file photo.

The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

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