The last word on flag etiquette is President Franklin Roosevelt's US Flag code. Its key point: The American flag 'represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.' No flags as tablecloths, please.
Matt Born/The Star-News/AP
Feeling the urge to unfurl your Old Glory for Independence Day?
Uncle Sam would be proud. But for the casual American flag owner, striking the right balance between patriotic and polite can be tough. No one wants to go the way of Home and Gardens TV and apologize for suggesting an American flag can be a bright and festive table runner, as it did last month.
The American flag “represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing,” according to US Flag Code. Many people consider it sacred, and abide by the Flag Code, approved by President Franklin Roosevelt on June 22, 1942, for rules on proper handling of the flag.
If you don’t know the ins and outs of flag code, or wonder if you’ll really be punished for breaking the rules, read on for a primer on how to fly the American flag without offense.
All answers in quotes are from the US Flag Code.
Can I fly my flag at night?
"It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness."