The American Flag is an important national symbol for American citizens, as it represents our sovereign nation. And because of that, the Stars and the Stripes should be flown with pride and treated with respect. And now that you have your American flag in hand, you may be wondering, which side of the porch do you hang it on? We've checked with the official flag etiquette to bring you the answer.
The American flag can hang on either side of the porch unless there is a second flag (or multiple flags). If there are two or more flags hanging on the porch, the American flag should hang on the left side of the porch when viewed from the street. If the American flag shares a flagpole with another flag, the Star-Spangled Banner should always be on top.
There are many stipulations when it comes to flying Old Glory. For more guidance on flying your American flag the proper way, what size the flag should be, and whether or not you need a light on the flag, please continue reading.
Which Side Of The Porch To Hang The American Flag
As you prepare to hang your American flag on your front porch, you want to make sure you're following appropriate etiquette. Let's go over the most important things to keep in mind as you prepare to hang your flag on your porch.
On A Pole
As we've mentioned, your American flag can be hung on any side of the porch if it's the only banner flying. When attached to a pole on the wall, the flag should be suspended horizontally or upward at an angle. If there's a second flag on the same pole, it should be positioned underneath the American flag.
If there's a second flag on a separate pole, the American flag should be on the pole to the viewer's left side. The second flag should also either be flown at the same level or slightly lower than the American flag.
Suspended On A Rope
When an American flag is suspended vertically or horizontally on a rope on your porch, the union (the blue field of stars) should be on the top left-handed side. No other flag should be positioned above the American flag. A flag that is hung upside down is a sign of distress.
What About Historical American Flags?
Historical American flags, such as the Betsy Ross flag, should be given the same respect and honor as the current 50-star flag. Any flag that has been considered the official flag of the country at some point is considered an "active" flag. Follow the appropriate hanging guidelines for these flags as well.
Flying historical American flags is a fun way to honor the country, remember its rich history, and show your patriotism.
Click here to see this Betsy Ross flag on Amazon.
Can An American Flag Be Flown Every Day?
An American flag can absolutely be flown every day. And while it is suggested to fly the flag every day, there are a handful of dates when flying the Star-Spangled Banner is a cultural must. These include federal holidays and other significant events. For a full list of these dates, check out this list.
The standard length of time that the flag should be displayed is from sunrise to sunset. However, if you have appropriate lighting, you can display the flag at all hours of the day. The casual passerby should be able to recognize the flag during nighttime hours.
What Size Flag Is Appropriate For The Front Porch?
There's really no minimum or maximum size that a flag can be on a front porch. You can fly as small or as large of a flag as you see fit for your porch. However, we will say that the most common size for a flag is 3 feet by 5 feet. This standard size looks suitable in most locations. At this size, the flag is noticeable but not over the top.
If you have the space to display a large American flag, then by all means do it! There's no national standard or regulation set for how large the flag should be, so enjoy picking the perfect size flag for your home.
Can The American Flag Be Flown At Night Without A Light?
According to official etiquette, the American flag should have proper illumination during nighttime hours if it flies 24/7. Keeping a light on the flag during the night is a sign of respect to the national symbol. Lucky for you, there are many excellent products to keep your flag illuminated through the night. Let's take a look at some of the best:
Sunnytech Solar LED Light
This nifty LED light attaches to the top of the flagpole. With a full charge, this solar-powered LED light will last for up to 24 hours. The light fits most standard flagpole dimensions. It's water-resistant, so you don't have to worry about the elements interfering with the light.
Click here to see this flag light on Amazon.
Solar Landscape Spotlights
These solar landscape LED spotlights can be placed anywhere in the yard. The two light settings, low light and high light, provide you with different illumination options. These lights are fit for all kinds of weather conditions; they're waterproof, heat-resistant, and frost-resistant. Simply stake them into the ground and enjoy the light on your flag.
Click here to see this spotlight on Amazon.
This flagpole light attaches underneath the flag on its pole. It has 3 light settings, providing your flag with your desired amount of illumination. The solar panel and light housing are attached with a one-foot cable.
Click here to see this flag light on Amazon.
Are You Supposed To Take The Flag Down When It Rains?
You should not fly Old Glory in any inclement weather. However, there is an exception to this rule. An American flag can fly in inclement weather as long as it is made from all-weather material. All-weather material includes nylon and two-ply polyester. This all-weather material can withstand the elements and resistant tears.
Click here to see this all-weather flag on Amazon.
If your flag sustains rips, tears, or is otherwise not in a fit condition to be properly displayed, you should retire it in a dignified manner. As outlined by the United States Flag Code, the best way to retire it is to destroy it by burning.
Flying the American flag is a perfect display of patriotism and pride in the country. So when you fly Old Glory, be sure to hang it appropriately from the porch. If you hang more than one flag on your porch, position the American flag on the left side when viewed from the street, and make sure the other flag is level with or lower than the American flag.
If you're looking for more ways to decorate your porch, be sure to check out these other guides:
27 Front Porch Decorating Ideas That Will Inspire You
When hanging the flag vertically on a porch, the star section should be on the top East side (top right for those facing the flag as they approach the house) if the porch runs west to east; and the stars should be on the upper North side if the porch runs North to South. Not sure where I read this but I think that’s correct. So most of your porch flags that are hung vertically (not on a pole) appear to be hung wrongly. However I’m not sure, ask someone who knows more. The thing is, just being hung with he star section “on top” is not enough, there has to be orientation either to the East or to the North, depending on the direction of the porch the flag is mounted on. Check into it, … ??
@Jay, When a city wants to fly the flag over the middle of the street, it needs to be suspended vertically with the union side of the flag pointing north on an east/west street or to the east on a north/south street. On a porch, the blue field is to be on the upper left (for the viewer looking at the flag from the street, as depicted in the article) without regard for the home’s location. Hope that’s helpful.