proper flag display protocol

Discussion in 'US Flag Display' started by Michael Hesterman, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. Michael Hesterman

    Michael Hesterman New Member

    I would like some clarification on the rules for an Embassy but some explanation is required first. I do love my country (USA) and I also am an Army Vet. So the following is not meant to be disrespectful. I am a preacher for a Church with one flag pole. since technically Churches are Embassies representing a foreign country, The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Light and Jesus is that counties reigning sovereign, the King. And anywhere in the world that a Church exists it functions as an embassy and its (the churches) members as dignitaries and ambassadors. With this understanding I have since election day last year flown both the Church flag and the USA flag on the same pole with the Church flag above the National flag. As would be expected i have been getting some comments saying this is against flag protocol. (some rather heated too as you might expect, i love patriotism) I have read in other posts here and on other sites saying the only time one nation's flag can be flown above another nations is during times of war. (i kind of think when some of our own high up dignitaries declared "America is not a Christian Nation" they were making a declaration of war. Please do not think me radical in this i really am a patriot to both countries of which i hold citizenship in both and because i am a Christian i am a better American. (by the very dictates of Scripture i am required to be. ) So what do you think?
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hello, Michael Hesterman!

    Welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE Forums!

    What do I think? I think that they are your Flags on your flagpole, on your church's property, so you can pretty much do whatever you want when it comes to flying your Flags.

    Having said that, let me offer you my free advice, with no strings (or halyards) attached. For SIX days each week fly your Flags with the American Flag on top of (over) your "Church" Flag, and on the 7th day (your Sabbath Day) fly your Church's Flag on top of (over) the American Flag. That way you can not only present a public signal to your parishioners (and others) that you are observing your Sabbath, but you can also, in a sense, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's".

    That's just my personal opinion, of course!

    Thank You for bringing your Flag-related concern to our Forums!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"

    Eugene, Oregon, USA. .....
  3. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    Hello Michael,

    I think Robin is on to something here. Take a look at the U.S. Flag Code, ยง 7(c): "No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services..."

    This section of the Flag Code refers specifically to church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the U.S. flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy. I don't know why the authors of the Flag Code singled out the Navy, or why the church services at sea is so important, but it seems to me that it should be acceptable to fly your flag above the U.S. flag during your regular church services. If it's O.K. for the Navy chaplains, it should be O.K. for your congregation. Plus if explained that way, you may find the idea more readily accepted by those who have complained.

    It also might be good if we invite Peter Ansoff to shed some light on the subject. Peter, please join us.....
  4. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member


    After I signed off on the post above, I thought I should see if either Robin or Peter Ansoff had tackled this issue in previous discussions. Turns out they had. In the search box above-right of this forum I entered "church flag"and "Christian flag", which led me to the following thread under the forum subject Other U.S. Flag Etiquette found at:

    Of special interest is Robin's post (the 8th post in the thread) in which he offered a link to a website dealing with Christian facts at: If you scroll down 2/3 of the page, you'll find the paragraph heading Display of the Christian Flag.

    Peter Ansoff was also involved in this thread noting that there is a Christian Flag Code which was unknown to me before this subject recently surfaced. Other threads of interest are the following:

    There are several other posts on this subject. To find them, do as I did and use the forum search box which is found upper right of every forum page.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
  5. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    I don't know why the authors of the Flag Code singled out the Navy, or why the church services at sea is so important

    A few thoughts at random:

    The authors of the flag code did not really single out the navy; they were just reporting a custom that had already existed for quite some time. The US Navy adopted the idea from the British Navy, which had used it since at least the 18th century.

    Church services at sea are a somewhat special case, because crew members do not usually have the option of attending the service of their choice, and because there is often only one chaplain on board who is responsible for the spiritual needs of all crew members regardless of his/her domination or their individual religious beliefs. The US Navy actually uses two versions of the church pennant: one with a cross for Christian services, and one with the tablets of the law for Jewish services. We now have Muslim chaplains in the Navy, so we might see a Muslim version of the pennant sometime in the future.

    In my humble opinion, references to military practice should not have been included in the flag code, because they cause a lot of confusion. Each of the military services has its own regulations for flag usage, and the flag code was "established for the use of such civilians or civilian groups or organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by one or more executive departments of the Government of the United States." (Flag Code, Section 5). This issue came up a few years ago when Congress added rules to the flag code allowing military personnel in civilian clothes to render the military salute. Both US Navy and US Marine regulations forbid that.
  6. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member


    Both interesting and informative! Thanks for contributing to our more informed understanding of the Flag Code. I was especially surprised that both US Navy and US Marine regulations forbid military personnel in civilian clothes to render the military salute. Several mass media, such as iHeart Radio, are actively encouraging military personnel in "civies" to salute the flag at sporting events or parades.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  7. MBA270

    MBA270 New Member

    Near my house is an old high school. It has been sold to a private real estate company that has converted it to one and two bedroom apartments. The huge flagpole in the center of the governor's driveway has not flown a flag since the sale to the real estate developer. The real estate developer has been renovating it for over two years. Now, it is officially "open"--they are leasing the apartments and tenants are moving in. Still the flagpole is without a flag. I could understand not flying the flag over a construction zone. I was hopeful that once it was completed, a flag would go up, but that isn't the case. To me I find this highly disrespectful to our country. Is this improper? Should I complain?
  8. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hello, MBA270, and welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE Forums!

    I don't know if it's "improper" or not, and I don't know if "complaining" is the best action, or not.

    Even though you are not a resident at that apartment complex, you can always politely inquire as to when they (the real estate developer or property management company) will be putting a Flag up on their flagpole. Try to ask the person highest up on the company's "chain-of-command" who, hopefully, has the authority and power to make the decision to get the job done. If you're a U.S. Military Veteran, say so, or at least suggest that they probably have a lot of Veterans living there. Believe it or not, mentioning Veterans will probably add "weight" to your request.

    While the receptionist has a very important job as the company's "gatekeeper", he or she won't have the necessary authority to get the job done, BUT... they should be able to direct you to the person who does. Being friendly and open (and non-threatening) with the receptionist and treating them with respect will go along way towards getting things done. Try to do the same with whomever you end up talking to.

    All you can do is ask and encourage them to put a Flag up on their flagpole. After all, it's their property, their flagpole, their money, and their decision, right?

    Good Luck with your quest!

    PS. Since your question and my reply are so far off the topic of this thread, perhaps our "Admin", Peter Ansoff, will move this to its own, individual thread and notify you as to the "change of location"?

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

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