Stars, Stripes, and Treason: Your Guide on Official Flag Regulations

While many things are a great metaphor for the state of our nation, I am not sure which of these two is the best: that we have specific, minute, guidelines for how the flag should be displayed, or that most people have not read them and are unknowingly disrespecting the flag — especially on Independence Day. 

That is why, this year I propose a game of “Who loves America Most?” where participants spice up the Fourth of July by schooling their friends and family on what it means to be a true patriot. 

There are official flag guidelines quotes here for everyone, just do not try to say “flowing freely” too fast. 

Please note that in order to fully embody your role in the game, you must speak with a British accent (to remind everyone what we’ve overcome) and tilt your nose up so the people below you can see up into your nostrils. 

For the neighbor whose flag has existed since the stone age, I recommend starting off strong with, “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.”

Any person wearing the flag or flag memorabilia would appreciate hearing, “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery..”

“It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.” 

For folks who have lovingly mounted the flag to their outdoor wall, remind them, “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.”


If you happen to be passing by your unlit neighbor’s home at night, remind them, “Traditional guidelines call for displaying the flag in public only from sunrise to sunset. However, the flag may be displayed at all times if it’s illuminated during darkness.” 

Screeching could be the considered and appropriate reaction prior to the delivery of this rule. If you see the flag being carelessly handled, say, “The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.”  

The Fourth is known for fireworks, friends, and food, so the next time you see someone with a star-spangled balloon or napkin, use you best, outdoor-for-a-bbq voice to say, “It [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.” 

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

With these helpful tips, you will soon be on your way to a friendlier, more patriotic version of you. Just remember, only YOU can prevent flag disrespect.  

Now, say “flowing freely” five times fast then go eat that hot dog. 

By: Hannah Ramsey