US flag at same height?

Discussion in 'US Flag Display' started by MizzouVic, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. MizzouVic

    MizzouVic New Member

    3 Poles - Proper Display

    I'm having trouble getting clarification on this. My company has three flag poles surrounding a fountain next to a highway. They are all equal in height. We fly the American flag in the center, our state flag to the left and our company flag to the left.

    Occasionally, someone will call us to suggest we are being disrespectful because the American flag is not flying higher than the others. My (and our) understanding is that in this case the American flag cannot be LOWER than any other flag, but flying at an equal height is okay. Obviously, we don't want to be disrespectful to the flag.

    Any comments or clarity would be appreciated. And if you are aware of any sites that outline these rules more clearly, I'd be grateful for that as well.

  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Re: 2 poles. Proper display ?

    Hi, Vic, welcome to the forum!

    My (and our) understanding is that in this case the American flag cannot be LOWER than any other flag, but flying at an equal height is okay.

    You are correct. The applicable paragaph from the "flag code" (4 USC 1, Para 7c) says:

    "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 conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy."

    As you can see from the bolded phrase, other flags can be flown at the same level. The US flag should be on the right, not in the center, in this case. This assumes, however, that the three poles are all in a straight row. If the middle pole is in front of the other two (in other words, they form a triangle with the point toward the viewer), it's customary to put the US flag on the center pole. This is not explict in the flag code, but it's consistent with the basic idea that the US flag should go in the place of honor.

    People are often confused by subparagraph e of the same paragraph in the code:

    "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."

    "Grouped" refers to the case in which the flags are attached to staffs and displayed in a "fan" formation. In that case, the US flag should be in the center of the fan.

    I hope this clarifies things.

    Best regards,

    Peter Ansoff
  3. MizzouVic

    MizzouVic New Member

    Thank you Peter...and you are correct, this is not clear in the flag rules I have read. I appreciate you taking the time to send a response.

    Mark Vickery

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