US Flag

Raising and Lowering the US Flag

With Memorial Day approaching, it might be time to review how to raise and lower the United States flag.

These are some basic rules for raising and lowering the US flag. The most important rule to remember is to always treat the US flag with dignity and respect. It is the symbol of the United States of America. Remember that many men and women have given their lives defending the liberty and freedom it represents.

Raising and Lowering the United States Flag

Raising the flag

  • The flag should be hoisted quickly.
  • The flag should be flown at the top of the flagpole, unless the flag is being flown at half staff.
  • Salute the flag while it is being raised.
  • If you are flying the flag at half staff, raise the flag all the way to the top of the pole and then lower it to halfway between the top and the bottom of the flagpole.
  • If flying the US flag with other flags, raise the US flag first.

Lowering the flag

  • The flag should be lowered slowly, with dignity and ceremony.
  • Salute the flag while it is being lowered. Hold your salute until the flag is removed or, if there is music, until the music stops.
  • If the flag was flying at half staff, raise the flag all the way to the top of the flagpole and then lower it.
  • If you are displaying multiple flags, lower the US flag last.
  • Fold the flag correctly before storing it.


  • If you are in uniform, salute the flag with a formal right hand salute. Otherwise, place your right hand over your heart.
  • Don’t let the flag touch the ground.
  • Normally the flag is flown from sunrise to sunset. If flown at night, it must be illuminated.
  • On Memorial Day, fly the flag at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.
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3 Responses to Raising and Lowering the US Flag

  1. tony April 14, 2011 at 8:10 PM #

    I’ve stepped up my game in my area trying to make sure local businesses and whatnot start honoring our flag, by calling them and asking them politely to remove and restore the flag they are flying, everyone has been completely willing to do so. Semper fi, America thanks you.

  2. Anonymous November 6, 2013 at 10:54 PM #

    this helped me understand the way our flag should be displayed

  3. Martha November 19, 2014 at 8:36 AM #

    When lowering, should I remove the top (blue of flag) snap before the lower, or doesn’t it matter which is removed first? Thank you.

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