How To Hang A Flag On A Wall (Quickly, Easily & Legally!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart
Hanging a flag on the wall is a great decorative statement and a way to show your patriotism. With that said, you want to make sure that you do it correctly, and it is easy to do with nails or tacks. Whether you use a frame or simply nail it to the wall, let’s take a look at how you can hang a flag from the wall without any trouble.

Whether it’s the American flag, the gay pride flag, or a flag from your college sports years, chances are that you have a banner you really love. That’s great, and if you’re like many folks out there, you probably want to display it with pride in your room. Hanging a flag on a wall is a simple way to show love to your favorite country, team, or subculture. So, what’s the proper way to do it?

The mechanics of hanging a flag on a wall remain pretty straightforward regardless of the type of flag you want to hang. Generally speaking, all flags can be hung up by either being nailed to a wall, tacked to a wall, or placed inside a frame that is then hung on a wall. The decorum that’s expected, though, can vary from flag to flag.

Understanding the nuances of hanging up certain flags and banners makes a lot of sense. It’s a matter of showing respect to your country or state. So, maybe it’s time we take a closer look at flag decorum, right?

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How To Hang Up A United States Flag

Believe it or not, there is a codified set of rules that you are expected to follow when you’re hanging up a US flag. In some situations, such as military members, disrespecting them can result in penalties. Here’s what you need to know about hanging up a US flag:

  • The Union (blue rectangle side with the stars) should always be hung up on the right side, to the viewer’s left.
  • The flag should always be the highest flag in the room, above all other states, towns, and county flags. If you have other countries’ flags on the wall, make sure they are at an even height when compared to the US flag. This is the expected status quo while we’re in peacetime.
  • If the flag touches the ground, it’s considered to be part of decorum to destroy it in a dignified manner.
  • You can hang Old Glory vertically or horizontally, but not on an angle.
  • Clipping the flag and then hanging it is the best indoor protocol if your flag doesn’t have grommets. If you have an antique flag, framing it is also acceptable.
  • Let the bottom of Old Glory hang freely. You should avoid stretching out the flag.
  • Always use a clean, well-kept flag.

Is Hanging The Flag Upside Down Illegal?

This all depends on the state. There was a case in Pennsylvania where a man was arrested for hanging the flag upside-down since the state has a law against disrespecting the state and national flags. Nationally, there is no law making it illegal to fly a flag upside-down, though it’s heavily frowned upon.

The traditional take on hanging a flag upside-down is that it should never happen unless a national tragedy occurred or if the is a need to signal grave danger. For example, it would make sense to hang a flag upside-down if the president was assassinated or if a bombing occurred in your city. Even then, many people may misconstrue it as an anti-American statement.

What Should You Never Do When You’re Hanging Up The American Flag?

Old Glory should never be made to touch water, other merchandise, or other items. It also should not be carried horizontally or desecrated through the use of graffiti or markings. When it comes to hanging up the flag, your biggest concern should be the method that you use in hanging.

It’s considered to be a grave offense to hang up an American flag in a way that could make it easy to tear, rip, or soil.

How Do You Properly Dispose Of A Soiled Flag?

A soiled American flag is considered to be a major affront to the country, which is why the decorum code states that flags need to be disposed of in a dignified manner. The most common way to get rid of a flag that has fallen to the ground is to fold it, burn it, and salute it as it burns.

However, the more important aspect to keep in mind is that any form you deem dignified (i.e., not dumping it in the trash) is alright. This is why retirement via burial is also considered to be an acceptable method of disposal.

One thing you should not do is gift a soiled flag to another person. It’s pretty disrespectful, especially if the person in question is a veteran. If you need to retire a flag, hand it to the American Legion. They do annual flag retirement ceremonies in most areas. If you don’t have an American Legion near you, talk to a Boy Scout troop.

How To Hang A Pennant, Souvenir, Or School Flag

For the most part, choosing to hang a school flag, souvenir flag, or a pennant is going to be a lot more lenient than hanging up an American flag. As long as you have thumbtacks or a nice wooden rod that you can use to straighten out the banner, you should have the basic mechanics under control. Though it’s fairly simple, we still have some suggestions for you…

  • Remove any display sticks that were added to the flag as a way to make them wave. Since you’re hanging them up on a wall, it usually doesn’t help. Use thumbtacks or nails to push them into the wall, locking them into place.
  • You can avoid poking holes in rigid flags by using thumbtacks and hooks as supports, rather than pushing them through the material. It can take a little technique to do this, but you can get the hang of it fairly quickly.
  • If the flag in question is an antique, framing it is the best course of action. Getting it professionally framed and insured is your best bet.
  • Felt pennants are supposed to be hung up by the tiny white ties on their ends. If the pennant in question already comes with a string for hanging it, just use a hook to make sure it’s properly displayed.
  • Remember to keep flags clean and stored in an area that is low in moisture. If you notice water near your flag, make sure to nip it in the bud and dry out your flag. This is especially true about antiques since homeowners insurance doesn’t cover mold in most circumstances.

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Related Questions

Are you allowed to hang an American flag overnight without a light?

There is a lot of misinformation regarding flying an American flag overnight. You are, by all means, allowed to hang your flag overnight. However, you cannot let it hang overnight without a light or in inclement weather. According to US tradition, the flag has to be lit up at all times.

When should you fly a flag outside your home?

While it’s never mandatory, if you do have a flag, it’s acceptable to fly a flag outside your home every day from sunrise to sunset. The only time that you should not fly a flag is in the event of inclement weather, such as a thunderstorm or hurricane. You can also hang a flag after sunset if you have a light that can shine on it.If you want to fly a flag during inclement weather, it’s important to use an all-weather flag. This is the only type of flag that’s considered to be acceptable for use during rain.

Is it legal to fly an American flag on the bed of a pickup truck?

This is not an offense to most traffic regulations, nor is it entirely an offense to American flag decorum. However, it’s still not a good move. Placing an American flag on the back of a pickup truck puts it at risk of touching the floor of the truck, getting torn, or getting soiled. This is a patriotic issue rather than a regulatory one.Moreover, it’s important to remember that flying your flag on the back of your truck can potentially limit your field of vision. This, in turn, can be an offense that would be deemed worthy of a ticket in most jurisdictions. To play it on the safe side, do not fly your flag on your truck.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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