Proper displaying of American Flag on a multiple flag display of three levels of poles.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Flag Discussion' started by MechanicMark, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. MechanicMark

    MechanicMark New Member

    Good Morning! Being a member of a nationally recognized Honor Guard I have been questioned about our Cities new flag display which has three levels of poles with multiple flags and including U.S. ; POW, State, and City. Top level by itself in center is large American flag on a tall pole. Next level is POW; State; City on same size poles but shorter poles than top center pole. Bottom level are 6 American flags on shorter poles but are all the same height.
    The first question was... How can you display the POW, State and City flags on the middle level with the 6 American flags on the next lower level as this puts them higher than the 6 American flags?
    The next question was when the Upper most flag is lowered for half staff reasons does this require all of the flags in the display to be lowered?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Greetings, MechanicMark!

    Do you have any picture's of your city's multi-level Flags Display? Or, are there any pictures of your city's Flags Display out there, somewhere, on the internet?
    If so, by posting a few of them here would make it a LOT easier for folks here to "visualize" what it looks like, and then be better able to give you more accurate advice.

    Assuming that there is only one pole on the upper level and six poles on the bottom level, how many poles are there on the middle level? One, two, or three, or...?

    The following are my personal opinions. I'm sharing it without knowing how many flagpoles are involved or how they are arranged. Furthermore, I am assuming that you are asking primarily as to the "proper" Order Of Precedence for the placement of the Flags.

    Addressing the "TOP" (tallest) flagpole (assuming that there are ONLY TWO flagpoles in the "middle" level): It should be flying an American (U.S.) Flag and, underneath it, the POW*MIA Flag.

    Addressing the "MIDDLE" flagpoles (assuming that there are TWO flagpoles): The State Flag should be on the flagpole to the viewers' left and the City Flag should be on the flagpole to the viewers' right.
    Addressing the "MIDDLE" flagpoles (assuming that there are THREE flagpoles): {The U.S. Flag should be flying by itself on the "TOP" (tallest) flagpole}. The State Flag should be on the flagpole to the viewers' left, the City Flag should be on the flagpole in the middle, and the POW*MIA Flag should be on the flagpole to the viewers' right. [ ie. "Order Of Precedence", left-to-right: STATE >>> CITY >>> POW*MIA ].

    I believe that the SIX flagpoles across the "BOTTOM" that are flying American Flags are there for an enhanced "patriotic" effect. Although they are at a lower level than the State, City, and POW*MIA Flags, all of those Flags flying from the MIDDLE and BOTTOM flagpoles are "Superseded" by the American Flag on the TOP (tallest) flagpole. In other words, don't worry about the six U.S. Flags flying from the BOTTOM flagpoles being UNDERNEATH (below) the State/City/POW*MIA Flags flying from the MIDDLE flagpoles, because they are ALL UNDERNEATH the U.S. Flag flying from the TOP (tallest) flagpole.

    Perhaps on military-related "Flag Days" (Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, POW*MIA Recognition Day, Veterans Day, etc.) your City might consider posting the Flags of the military branches in place of the six American Flags on the "bottom" level flagpoles. If so, the "order of precedence" (left-to-right) is, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Currently, There are only five (5) branches of the military (not counting "reserve" units), so for the sixth Flag they could fly another U.S. Flag (far left), the Merchant Marine Flag (far right), or (in my opinion) another POW*MIA Flag (far right).

    RE: Placement of the POW*MIA Flag in the "Order Of Precedence". The two major Veterans organizations, American Legion and the VFW, have slightly different interpretations on where the POW*MIA Flag should be in the "Order Of Precedence". While the American Legion encompasses all those who served at any time and anywhere, the VFW encompasses only those veterans who served in combat zones during wartime (armed conflicts).

    There are other threads here on the USA-FLAG-SITE Forums that deal with the POW*MIA Flag and the Order Of Precedence. You can find a list of the pages on the Google Search I just conducted for "POW*MIA Flag" +Precedence for*MIA+Flag%22+precedence&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=images&as_filetype=&as_rights=#q=%22POW*

    Addressing your "Half-Staff" question: In my opinion, if you Half-Staff ONE, you should Half-Staff them ALL.

    When it comes to Flags, placements, protocols, etiquette, etc., a lot of people (including me) will cite, or at least mention or refer to, the "U.S. Flag Code" (or "Flag Code"). The Flag Code is a set of "guidelines" for us civilians on using the "proper" protocols & etiquette when dealing with the U.S. Flag. Almost ALL of the Sections and sub-sections contained in the Flag Code's guidelines use the operative word "SHOULD". "Should" as in the "Flag should always...", OR "The Flag should never...".

    The majority of the U.S. Flag Code ("Flag Code") is contained in the United States Code (USC), Title 4, Chapter One - The Flag. |
    You can find a copy of the Flag Code HERE:
    Or HERE:

    I hope I've been able to help you, at least a little bit, in answering your questions and addressing your concerns regarding your City's Flags. As I stated earlier, these are my opinions and they are based, without seeing your City's Flag Placements, by what I have come to learn about these sort of things. I hope I haven't confused you in any way.

    Again, if you can post any pictures of your City's Flags Display, that would be a BIG help!

    Thank You for bringing your Flag-related questions to our Forum!

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

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member


    Have you been back and read my reply?

    If so, was I able to answer your questions about your City's three-tiered Flags display?

    Where do you live, and have you been able to get any photographs of the Flags?

    Thank You!

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

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