Flags On and Behind Podium--Is this ok?

Discussion in 'US Flag Display' started by Protocol Sponge, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Protocol Sponge

    Protocol Sponge New Member

    I want to ensure that all is done properly for an upcoming event with a peculiar assortment/arrangement of flags. This is an outdoor event. There will be a platform/stage with a podium and up to 10 officials seated on the platform. On the platform will be the US, French, Virginia, and corporation flags. I know the order of these--no problem. However, behind the stage will be aligned, as a backdrop, the flags of the 13 original states in the order they ratified the Constitution. These 13 will not be higher than those flags on the platform. Should I be concerned with any aspect of this configuration? THANKS!
     
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    .....
    Greetings, "Protocol Sponge"!

    Welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE forums!

    On the surface, it would seem to be "OK", as far as I can see. However...

    As I understand it, the U.S. Flag should be to the Right (on the LEFT side as seen by the audience) of the Speaker's podium, and ALL other Flags should be to the Speaker's Left (on the RIGHT side as seen by the audience).

    However, I would think that if you have a number of Flags on poles on the stage/platform, the stage/platform might look a little "unbalanced" if you have only one Flag (U.S.) on the one side and three or four (or more) Flags on the other. If that will be the case, then perhaps you could "balance" it out a little by putting the "political" Flags (Country, State, etc.) USA, France, and Virginia on one side of the stage/platform (in proper order), and the "corporate" Flags on the other side of the stage?

    I hope this helps!

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

    FlagAdvocate Member

    Protocol Sponge...I concur with Robin regarding the flags on the stage, however, you might take a look at the Order of Precedence for the 13 state flags behind the stage. According to the Order of Precedence for state flags, the date each was admitted to the Union determines their display order (or they can be arranged alphabetically). What is the significance for your gathering of officials of the 13 original states and the dates they ratified the Constitution? Is that the same thing as being admitted to the Union? Seems to me I could learn something in this discussion. Please help me understand.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    .....
    I would think that placing the Flags of the original 13 States in chronological order (dates of ratifying the Constitution) left-to-right as viewed by the audience, would be most appropriate, but alphabetical order (left-to-right as viewed by the audience) would be a logical 2nd choice.

    It's an outdoor event taking place in the State of Virginia, and it will include the National Tri-Color Flag of France, so maybe it will have something to do with the American Revolutionary War? The last battle of that war was the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia, but that took place in September-October, 1781, so those dates don't quite match up if it's an "anniversary" event. I think the only "fly in the ointment" that anyone would be able to quibble with might be that there will be TWO Virginia State Flags on the event's stage/platform.

    Flag Advocate, the original 13 States dates of ratifying the U.S. Constitution equate to the remaining 37 States dates of admission to the Union, as far as "chronological order" is concerned.

    "Protocol Sponge" was back on-site a few minutes after I posted my first reply (above), but he/she/they hasn't offered any additional comments.

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

    FlagAdvocate Member

    Robin,
    Thank you for the info. I have a better understanding of the Order of Precedence for State flags thanks to you and this forum.

    Bill Jameson
    Vet & Flag Advocate
     
  6. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    .....
    Hi, Bill!

    Thank You, but I think most of the credit in that regard (Order of Precedence for State Flags) should go to Peter Ansoff and others. Although NOT mentioned in the "civilian" Flag Code, the OOP for State Flags is laid out in ALL of the military services Flag rules & regulations. Peter is the one who has pointed that out in a few occasions.

    BTW : Protocol Sponge still hasn't come back since 1:34 PM on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017. She might end up being one of this sites "One-Hit Wonders". I'm curious as to whether we were able to answer her question to her satisfaction, and what solution/s she decided to try.

    Oh, Well . . . . .

    Robin
    .....
     
  7. Protocol Sponge

    Protocol Sponge New Member

    Not a one-hit-wonder...just pretty busy. All of the information is helpful and I think most questions have been answered, with the exception of the reason for the event. My organization is having the opening celebration and dedication of a new museum, the "American Revolution Museum at Yorktown." As part of the 13-day event, each day will be devoted to one of the original 13 states (in order of statehood, i.e., ratification of the Constitution). Virginia Day will double as Dedication Day, and it falls on April 1. April 1 is a significant event for our organization, as our first museum, Jamestown Settlement (originally Jamestown Festival Park) opened April 1, 1957, to launch the 350th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, American's first permanent English settlement; AND our new museum originally opened on April 1, 1976, as the Yorktown Victory Center during American's bicentennial. This Saturday, the new Yorktown museum will be dedicated by the Governor of Virginia (it is a state-owned museum) to Nick and Mary Mathews, local patriots and philanthropists, without whom the original museum would never have been located in historic Yorktown. Hope this helps!!
     
  8. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    I was in Williamsburg last weekend for a conference, and heard about the opening of the ARMY (great acronym!). We drove by the museum at some point, and I could not help but notice that the flags out front were the modern British and French flags instead of the ones that would have been flown in 1781. I'm guessing that this was a carryover from the Victory Center. I remember noticing the flags on the VC signs on my frequent drives up and down I-64!
     
  9. robin madden

    robin madden New Member

    I'm totally new and completely clueless which is why I joined this forum. I see this thread is about US flags on or behind a podium, but I have a question about state flags if you can help. We have a speaking event where the platform is raised and the committee was thinking of displaying the state flags representing those in attendance vertically across the front of the platform,but that would put the speaker above the flags....is this a bad idea?
     
  10. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    Hello Robin,
    Welcome to the Forum. You asked if displaying the state flags vertically across the front of the speaker's platform is a bad idea since the display would put the speaker above the flags. Not necessarily, but there are a couple of considerations:

    1. The U.S. Flag Code may have some guidance relative to your question, but keep in mind the Flag Code is primarily concerned with the placement and display of the United States flag, which you don't mention in your post. Section 7 (k) deals with the placement of the U.S. and other flags on a speaker's platform, placing the U.S. flag either behind or to the right of the speaker as he faces the audience, and any other flags to the left of the speaker or to the right of the audience. See ยง 7 (k) of U.S. Flag Code. However, in most cases, there would only be the U.S. flag and perhaps one or two other flags involved, and they would be displayed on staffs, not displayed vertically (except the U.S. flag if behind the speaker).

    2. As for displaying the state flags vertically, in many cases state flags are designed to be displayed only horizontally due to their horizontal design elements. Some may consider it inappropriate to rotate a horizontal design into a vertical display, although I'm not aware of any state flag code recommending against displaying a vertical state flag.

    3. Another consideration in displaying state flags is the order of their placement from the audience's perspective. They should be arranged from left to right in the order of each state's admission to the Union. Google State Flags Order of Precedence .

    In summary, I don't believe there is any thing inherently wrong with placing state flags across the front of a speaker's platform putting the speaker above the flags. However, customarily such flag displays are usually either on or behind the speaker's platform.

    Thank you for asking. Other Forum members may also have some helpful advice.

    Bill Jameson
    Vet & Flag Advocate
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  11. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Hi Robin,

    I don't think there is any problem with displaying state flags vertically -- it's done very frequently. There is one interesting consideration, though. The Flag Code says that the US flag should be displayed vertically with the union (top) on the flag's own right (the viewer's left). However, unlike the US flag, it's better to display state flags with the top of the flag to the viewer's right. The reason for this is that most state flags have writing on them, which will be backwards if it's displayed with the top of the flag to the viewer's left.

    This actually can get awkward when the US flag and a state flag are displayed vertically side-by-side, because they look "backwards" in relation to each other. In my humble opinion, this was a mistake that the authors of the flag code failed to foresee.

    I hope this is helpful. Thanks for contacting us!
     
  12. robin madden

    robin madden New Member

    Bill and Peter-thank you so very much for your help! I will forward this information to the committee so that we can ensure we handle things properly Thank you again!
     
  13. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    .....
    Hello, Robin!

    If there aren't too many State Flags, possibly they could be displayed "horizontally" on the wall behind the speakers? If so, then as "Flag Advocate" (Bill) said, they should be displayed from left-to-right (as the audience would see them) in the order that the States joined the Union. If they end up displayed vertically, or there or elsewhere, then they should also be displayed from left-to-right (as the audience would see them) in the order that the States joined the Union.

    From one Robin to another, Good Luck!


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

Share This Page