Veterans Day, which occurs again Monday, is a day when American flags are traditionally flown in honor of men and women who have served in all branches of the U.S. military.
According to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organization, Old Glory can be flown any day of the year, but there are 18 on which it should especially appear:
––New Year’s Day (Jan. 1).
––Inauguration Day (Jan. 20).
––Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday (third Monday in January).
––Lincoln’s birthday (Feb. 12).
––Washington’s birthday (third Monday in February).
––Easter Sunday (varies).
––Mother’s Day (second Sunday in May).
––Armed Forces Day (third Saturday in May).
––Memorial Day (last Monday in May; half staff until noon).
––Flag Day (June 14).
––Independence Day (July 4).
––Labor Day (first Monday in September).
––Constitution Day (Sept. 17).
––Columbus Day (second Monday in October).
––Navy Day (Oct. 27).
––Veterans Day (Nov. 11).
––Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November).
––Christmas Day (Dec. 25)
The VFW says the flag should also fly on any other day proclaimed by the president. It should also be flown at half-staff on four specific days:
––Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15).
––National Korean War Armistice Day (July 27).
––Patriot Day (Sept. 11).
––National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (Dec. 7).
When the flag is displayed vertically or horizontally on a wall or vertically over a street, it should be displayed flat and suspended so its folds fall free. The union (or stars) should be uppermost and to the observer’s left.
On Memorial Day, the flag should be raised to the top of the staff first thing in the morning, and then lowered slowly to half-staff until being raised to the top again at noon.
When draped over a casket, the flag’s union should be over the deceased’s left shoulder and should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.
In a parade, Old Glory should always be to the marching right of other flags, or to the front and center of a flag line.
When an American flag is raised, lowered, or is passing in a parade or review, everyone present should face it, with military personnel saluting and other citizens placing their right hands over their hearts. Men should remove their hats.