Clarification on multiple flags on a motorcycle

Discussion in 'US Flag Display' started by Fcacvet, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. Fcacvet

    Fcacvet New Member

    I ride a HD TriGlide. I have three 13" flag poles and fly 3 flags. American flag, Army flag and POW flag. The poles and flags are all the same size as well. I have been flying them with the American flag on the marching right with the Army flag in the middle and the POW flag on the left. Is this correct since the flags are the same size and the poles are the same size as well? I have seen write ups and think I am doing it correctly, but have had a couple of people question me. If I move the American flag to the center it would be at the same height as the Army flag (on the right) and the POW flag (on the left). I want to make sure I am doing it correctly.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Hello, Fcacvet!

    Welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE Forums!

    I believe that you are correct in the way that you've mounted your three Flags on you motorcycle's three 13" poles (assuming that they are all the same height and parallel |||, and not splayed out \|/ ) according to the established "order of precedence". The "rules" regarding motor vehicles mention mounting the American Flag on the RIGHT side or fender of the "vehicle" in question, but don't mention motorcycles specifically. I would think that mounting the American Flag on the right side ("marching right") would also pertain to motorcycles as well as cars, trucks, and parade floats.


    4 U.S. Code § 7 - Position and manner of display
    The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag’s own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.
    (a) The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in subsection (i) of this section.

    (b) The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.


    Just my opinion, of course . . .

    Good Luck, and Thank you for bringing your Flag-related question to our Forums!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.

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  3. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    Fcacvet...Most riders in our local HOG Chapter rely on the American Legion's Legion Riders for advice concerning placement of flags on our Harleys. Attached is a copy for your info. Note that when displaying the American flag with 2 other flags, the Legion Riders recommend placing the US flag in the center and higher than the other two flags, rather than on the bike's "marching right", although they do recognize that as an option.

    View attachment 1981
    Source: www.legion.org/riders/faq (scroll to bottom of faq)

    If you decide to place the US flag in the center and higher than the other two flags, the Army flag should be on the rider's right rear (curb side) and the POW/MIA flag on the rider's left rear according to their Order of Precedence. However, if you are a VFW member, the POW/MIA flag should be placed curb-side with the Army flag on the rider's left rear.

    Many riders have also expressed concern that when the bike is on the kick stand, obviously the flag nearest the curb may end up actually higher than the US flag when the US flag is displayed in the center. So you may want to be sure to fly the US flag high enough over the other 2 flags so that doesn't happen. Hey, riding season is just around the corner. Can't wait! Ride safe-Ride free brother.

    P.S. The Legion Riders cite the following from the US Flag Code, § 7(e) to justify displaying the US flag in the center of any other 2 subordinate flags: "The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs".
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  4. David_zannini

    David_zannini New Member

    So lets clarify, whe flying 3 flags on the back of bike us flag, army flag and pow flag. If all are the same hieght the US flag go on curbside, pow on left and army flag in the middle?
     
  5. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    David...To clarify, the answer is yes. See Robin Hickman's reply to Fcacvet's original question at the beginning of this thread. If all 3 flags are displayed on staffs at the same height behind the rider, the U.S. flag should be placed to the rider's right rear (curbside), the POW/MIA flag on the rider's left rear, and the Army flag in the middle.
     
  6. David_zannini

    David_zannini New Member

    Thank you
     
  7. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Greetings, David_Zannini!

    To clarify, FlagAdvocate beat me to answering your question!

    I haven't seen too many motorcycles with three little "flagpoles" on the back, with or without flags attached. I do remember seeing two distinct kinds: the three straight-up, same length, and parallel kind ( ||| ), and the three, same length, slightly "splayed-out" kind ( \|/ ) where the center pole is actually higher than the other two (outside) poles.

    If the three poles are parallel and of equal height, the U.S. Flag should be on the bike's "starboard" (right) side pole, the U.S. Army Flag should be on the bike's "center" (middle) pole, and the POW*MIA Flag should go on the bike's "port" (left) side pole.

    If the bike's three poles are parallel (OR "splayed-out") and the "center" pole is the tallest one, then that is where the U.S. Flag should go. The U.S. Army should then be on the bike's "starboard" (right) side pole, and the POW*MIA Flag should be on the bike's "port" (left) side pole.

    If the bike has only two (2) flagpoles, then the Flag with the higher order of precedence should go on the bike's "starboard" (right) side pole, and the Flag with the lower order of precedence should go on the bike's "port" (left) side pole. So, if the bike is in the USA, and one of the two Flags is the U.S. Flag, then the U.S. Flag should ALWAYS fly from the bike's "starboard" (right) side flagpole, and ANY other Flag should be on the bike's "port" (left) side flagpole.


    I have just one minor disagreement with FlagAdvocate on this subject, and it has to do with the "kickstand" issue. I believe that since the flagpoles are attached to the bike, then that (being attached to the bike) is the central, most important aspect when it comes to which flagpole is highest, and not when the bike is at rest and leaning over while being "held up" by its kickstand. I would use the same logic for when the bike is in motion, in that the rider doesn't stop to "rearrange" his bike's Flags just before he goes into a left-hand or right-hand corner knowing that the bike will lean over while going through that turn. BUT... If the U.S. Flag is on the center pole that is sufficiently higher than the two outside poles and/or the U.S. Flag is significantly larger than the other two Flags, then not even a bad-tempered "flagnazi" would have reason to complain!

    And, David_Zannini, if you have any pictures of your bike with its Flags attached, could you please post a few of them here?

    Thank you!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
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  8. US Flag Supply

    US Flag Supply New Member

    Would you consider flying the U.S. flag higher in the center and having the POW flag slightly lower on the "starboard" side and the same for the Army flag on the "port" side?
     
  9. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Hello, "US Flag Supply"!

    Welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE Forum!

    To answer your question, it depends on WHICH "Order of Precedence" for Flags you choose to follow. The "Order of Precedence" is pretty much the establishment of the "importance" of people or items (in this case, Flags) relative to one another. Depending on the category, the "Order of Precedence" can be VERY formal and VERY intricate & complex! But, hey! We're just dealing with three Flags on the back of a motorcycle, right?

    Wikipedia - "Order Of Precedence": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_precedence

    As FlagAdvocate pointed out in his first reply (above), there is a difference of opinion between the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in regards to the "Order Of Precedence" when displaying/flying the USA, U.S. Army, and POW*MIA Flags and their separate "organizational rules". The American Legion's "organizational rules" for THEIR "Order of Precedence" is USA, Army, and then the POW*MIA Flag. While the VFW's "organizational rules" for THEIR "Order of Precedence" is USA, POW*MIA, and then the ARMY Flag. When it comes to Flags, displaying their "Order of Precedence" can be shown in four ways: Flag vertical placements (higher is precedent), Flag horizontal (side-to-side) placements (Flag's own right, observers' left, is precedent), Flag horizontal (front-to-back) placements (front is precedent), and Flags sizes (larger is precedent).

    Assuming that we're in the United States of America, and the American Flag is on the taller center pole, which sides should the U.S. Army and POW*MIA Flags be?

    Well, for the AMERICAN LEGION's organization "Order of Precedence" rules: "If the bike's three poles are parallel (OR "splayed-out") and the "center" pole is the tallest one, then that is where the U.S. Flag should go (very highest precedence). The U.S. Army Flag should then be on the bike's "starboard" (right) side pole (higher precedence), and the POW*MIA Flag should be on the bike's "port" (left) side pole (lower precedence)."

    And for the VETERANS OF FOREIGN WAR's organizational "Order of Precedence" rules: "If the bike's three poles are parallel (OR "splayed-out") and the "center" pole is the tallest one, then that is where the U.S. Flag should go (very highest precedence). The POW*MIA Flag should then be on the bike's "starboard" (right) side pole (higher precedence), and the U.S. Army Flag should be on the bike's "port" (left) side pole (lower precedence)."

    There are a number of "Veterans" motorcycle clubs and "Honor Guard" motorcycle clubs, and each has their own set of "organizational rules" when it comes to the "Order of Precedence" of flying/displaying Flags during their organization's activities. Their rules, like those of the American Legion and VFW, are only for governing their organization's members participating in its activities.

    What I can add here is my advice for "non-affiliated" bike riders who love to fly Flags on their bikes is this: it's YOUR bike, YOUR flagpole(s), and YOUR Flag(s), so fly 'em any way YOU want to just as long as you do it with RESPECT!

    I know that my reply was a little "long-winded", but I hope you don't mind.

    Thank You!


    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
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