Did you know that when flags are called to “half staff” it does not strictly mean that the flag has to be lowered half way? Half Staff refers to the flag not being at full staff. This is a very useful thing to remember especially if you have a large flag and are concerned with obstructions.
Following is a list of special dates to remember to fly your flag. You can fly your flag every day but these dates are important to remember.
New Year’s Day (January 1) – The flag is to be flown in commemoration of the new year.
Inauguration Day (January 20, every 4 years) – The flag should be flown every four years when a presidential inauguration occurs, regardless of political affiliation.
Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12) – Celebrate our 16th President’s birthday every year by flying the flag in honor of Honest Abe.
Washington’s Birthday (3rd Monday in February) – You’ve got to display the stars and stripes each year to celebrate the birthday of George Washington. He’s the first President and the man who asked Betsy Ross to create the flag in the first place!
Easter Sunday (date varies) – In 2020 and 2021, it will fall on April 12 and April 4 respectively.
Mother’s Day (2nd Sunday in May) – You wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for dear old mom, so fly your flag in honor of her!
Armed Forces Day (3rd Saturday in May) – Display your flag on Armed Forces Day in tribute to the men and women who serve our great nation.
Memorial Day (last Monday in May) – From sunrise until noon, the flag is to fly at half staff to honor our fallen veterans. From noon until sunset, it is to be flown full staff to honor those still with us.
Flag Day (June 14) – Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the American flag by the Second Continental Congress in 1777.
Father’s Day (3rd Sunday in June) – You also wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for dad, so display the flag on this day too.
Independence Day (July 4) – The day we became free and independent states.
Labor Day (1st Monday in September) – Fly your flag throughout Labor Day weekend – and especially Labor Day! – to celebrate the men and women who work hard to keep our country running.
Patriots Day (September 11) – Patriot Day is an annual observance to remember those who were injured or died during the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.
Constitution Day (September 17) – The United States Constitution is considered the supreme law of our country. Celebrate the day it was adopted by flying your flag.
Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October) – In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue – and today, we fly our flags to celebrate the day he reached America!
Navy Day (October 27) – Navy Day honors and celebrates the United States Navy, the largest naval warfare service branch in the entire world.
Veterans Day (November 11) – Veterans Day is a day to celebrate and honor veterans, not merely mourn them. For this reason, the flag is not to be flown at half-staff. Citizens are, however, encouraged to fly POW/MIA and military branch flags in support of our veterans.
Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November) – Before you eat yourself into a turkey coma, make sure your American flag is flying!
Christmas Day (December 25) – The only thing better than a white Christmas is a red, white, and blue Christmas. Make sure your flag is displayed on this major holiday.
State Holidays and Birthdays (date of admission) – The U.S. flag is to be flown in each state on its date of admission to the Union.
Other Important Days to Fly the American Flag
While the following dates did not make it into the U.S. Flag Code, they are still worth including:
National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day (July 27) – July 27 is the anniversary of the treaty which ended the Korean War. From 2000 to 2003, during the treaty’s 50th anniversary years, the flag was flown at half-staff. Since then, it is to be flown at full staff on this day in special remembrance of Korean War veterans.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7) – In solemn remembrance of the “day that shall live in infamy,” the flag is to fly at half-staff from sunrise until sunset.
Election Days – While the code specifies flags be flown at polling places, election days are the perfect chance for everyone to show off their civic pride whether that’s by voting, flying the flag, or both!