There are few things we love in the south more than God, trucks, and the American Flag. (Fried chicken, fried catfish, and guns rate way up there also... but I digress)  As you drive the streets of Shreveport, you're very likely to see someone flying Old Glory from the bed of their pickup.  And as well-intentioned as they might be, they are probably going against actual flag etiquette.

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It makes one proud to see the flag flying, in front of a building, on the front porch of a home, or even from the back of a pickup.  But there are certain guidelines that need to be followed to show proper respect to this beautiful symbol of our freedom.

How to Properly Display the Flag

According to Almanac.com

  • When the flag is hung vertically on a wall, window, or door, the Union (blue section) should be to the observer’s left.

  • In a procession, the American flag should be to the right (the flag’s own right) of any other flag or, if in a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.

  • When displayed from a staff projecting from a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff.

  • When displayed over a street, the flag should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street, or to the east in a north and south street.

  • On a platform, the flag should be above and behind the speaker, with the union uppermost and to the observer’s left.

  • When displayed from a staff in a church or auditorium, the flag should occupy the position of honor and be placed at the speaker’s right as he faces the audience.

  • When the flag is used to cover a casket, the union should be at the head and over the left shoulder

How NOT to Display the Flag

From Almanac.com

  • The flag should not be dipped to any person or thing, including government officials—even the President.

  • The flag should never be displayed with the union (stars) down, unless as a signal of dire distress.

  • The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

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

  • The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored so that it might be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

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

  • The flag should never have anything placed on it.

  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose, nor embroidered on cushions or handkerchiefs, printed on paper napkins or boxes, nor used as any portion of a costume.

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And to the well-meaning souls who fly the flag from their trucks, there are also rules that need to be followed.

  • If a flag is displayed on a float, it needs to be mounted properly on a staff
  • Never drape the flag over the hood, sides, back or top of a vehicle
  • The staff should be firmly affixed to the chassis, and the staff and flag positioned where, when at rest, no part of the flag touches, or drapes across any part of the vehicle

Another problem with flying the flag from a truck is caused by high-speed driving.  When a flag is subjected to extended flapping, it tends to become frayed and torn. And the flag should never be displayed after it becomes faded, frayed, ripped, or torn.

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So continue to fly, what I think is the most beautiful flag of ANY country, but please do so with the proper respect, by following proper flag etiquette.

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