Folding The United States Flag
When Old Glory is not flying, it is proper etiquette to fold it in the following way. Please keep in mind that a flag should not touch the ground while being folded, nor should it be stored long-term in a folded condition. This ceremony is most easily performed with two people using a table if necessary.
1. Begin folding the flag lengthwise by bringing the lower edge flush horizontally with the upper edge. For larger flags, this may require two people
2. Fold the flag lengthwise again by bringing the central fold flush horizontally with the upper edge.
3. The person at the fly end should then form a triangle by making the lower corner of the flag touch the upper edge.
4. The outer point should then be folded towards the hoist end.
5. Fold the upper corner to the lower edge. Continue this process until the hoist end is reached.
6. Tuck the remaining hoist portion into the folded part to secure the bundle.
7. Your flag should look like this
Disposal of a United States Flag
Outdoor U.S. Flags, like any other fabric product, begin to display faded colors and weatherworn edges as a result of regular use. Once a replacement U.S. Flag with new vibrant colors and sharp edges is flying proudly, proper retirement and disposal of the worn U.S. Flag is an American responsibility.
- Removing the union, which is the blue field of the U.S. flag containing the stars, leaving only the stars and stripes left.
- Separating all the individual red and white stripes on the U.S. flag, creating individual strips for each color.
- An official burning of the U.S. flag, which can be done through the American Legion, VFW posts and even some Boy Scout Troops perform the ceremonies.
- Due to obvious safety hazards that can arise from having an open fire, Carrot-Top Industries recommends speaking with your local Veteran’s Organization or Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America for future flag disposal ceremonies they have scheduled. Also, you can always return your worn U.S. flags to Carrot-Top Industries care of U.S. Flag Retirement and we will properly see to the retirement.
- Portion of the U.S. Flag Code – See “k” under Section 176: Respect for the flag
- No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.
- The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
- The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
- The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
- The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
- The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
- The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
- The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
- The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
- The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkin or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
- No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
- The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.