On Foreign soil

Discussion in 'US Flag Display' started by Dennis Parsick, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. My name is Dennis, former USMC, living and working in the Republic of Panama, Central America. Another American has recently opened a restaurant near me and out in front of it are 3 flag poles. On the 2 outside ones he is flying the flag of Panama and on the center one he is flying our colours. (U.S.A.) However he is flying our flag at approximately half-mast. Does anyone know the "rules" for flying our flag outside the U.S. w/ the host nations flag(s). Or somewhere I can find this info.
    signed, not so lean, not as mean, but still a Marine! Semper Fi DJP
  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Greetings, Dennis!

    There are two principles that apply when national flags are displayed together. Both are included in the US flag code, but they are based on international usage:

    1. All national flags should be displayed at the same height.

    2. The position of honor is on the right of the display (which is the left of an observer facing the display).

    Generally, the practice seems to be that the position of honor goes to the host nation's flag. Since your display is in Panama, the Panamanian flag should be on the right-hand pole, which it is. I don't know if there's any particular protocol that addresses multiple flags. The display you describe (Panama/USA/Panama) certainly passes the "looks good" test.

    The half-staffed US flag, however, isn't right, for a couple of reasons. First, it puts the US flag lower than the Panamanian flag which is not good protocol. (Historically, flying a flag above another country's flag was a symbol of victory in wartime.) Second, the rule of thumb is that you don't half-staff another country's flag unless that country's authorities so direct.

    I suspect that the owner half-staffed the US flag to show deference to the host country. The right way to do that is to put the host country's flag on the right-hand pole, which he is already doing.

    Again, all of the above is based on general usage, which is written into the US flag code. It's possible that Panama has its own flag protocols. If they do, however, I suspect that they're similar to the USA ones. As an aside, I've always like the design of the Panamanian flag -- it's distinctive, traditional and handsome.

    I hope this clarifies things. Semper Fi, and best regards,

    Peter Ansoff
  3. wepouys

    wepouys Guest

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    Hello ! Sorry to bother you. I found this forum when looking through google for forums to use. I need to install a forum on my website but I cannot find where it is sold. Where did you get this one Thanks for any assistance

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