As America gets ready to celebrate her 244th Independence day,  unfortunately, there are a lot of American Flag Myths that need to be debunked.

So here are our…

Top 10 American Flag Myths Debunked

#1 When was the American flag created? 10 Most FAQ's About The American Flag, Answered Original US flag

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed an act establishing an official flag. Today, the flag has 13 horizontal stripes that represent the colonies and 50 stars that represent the states.

The color red “symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.”

#2 Must You Destroy An American Flag if it Touches the Ground?

10 Most FAQ's About The American Flag, Answered Original flag touches ground

No! While the American flag should never touch anything beneath it, including the ground.

If it unfortunately happens, you’re not required to destroy the flag.

As long as the flag remains suitable for display, you may continue to display the American flag as a symbol of our great nation.

#3 Can the flag be washed or dry-cleaned? 10 Most FAQ's About The American Flag, Answered Can I wash the American flag

There are no provisions of the US Flag Code that prohibits the washing or dry-cleaning of the flag.

The decision would depend upon the type of material of the flag.


#4 Can I fly an American flag that was used to cover a casket? 10 Most FAQ's About The American Flag, Answered draping a casket

A flag that has been used to cover a casket can be used for any proper display purpose, including displaying it from a staff or flagpole.

#5 How should our flag be displayed

The flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and behind the speaker.

When displayed from a staff in a church, public auditorium, or meeting place, the flag should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the speaker’s right as he or she faces the audience.

The staffed flag should always be placed to the right of the speaker without regard to a platform or floor level.

#6 Who authorizes the Flag to be flown at half-staff?

Only the president of the United States or the governor of the state may order the flag to be half-staffed, in accordance with Flag Code section 7(m).


#7 What do I do with my state or POW flag?

10 Most FAQ's About The American Flag, Answered POW flag

The state flag, POW flag, or any other flag is lowered or removed when the American flag is at half-staff.

As indicated in the Flag Code, no flag or pennant should be placed above the flag of the United States.

#8 Can I fly the American flag at night? Must it be illuminated? 10 Most FAQ's About The American Flag, Answered lighting the American flag at night

The U.S. Flag Code section 6(a) states:

“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 twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.”

#9 Do I Burn It If It Gets Damaged? 10 Most FAQ's About The American Flag, Answered burning the American flag

Section 8(k) of the U.S. Flag Code states:

“The flag, when it is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

Since 1937, The American Legion has promoted the use of a public flag disposal ceremony.

This ceremony is a fitting tribute and an overt expression of patriotism, which enhances the public’s understanding of honor and respect due to our nation’s flag.

#10 Can I Display A Flag That Has ‘Gold Fringing”?10 Most FAQ's About The American Flag, Answered gold fringe fringing

Gold fringing on the American flag is neither approved of nor prohibited by the U.S. Flag Code.

Many veterans organizations such as the American Legion consider the fringe as an ‘honorable enrichment to the Flag’.

Additionally, the courts have deemed that any lawsuits claiming the gold fringe should only be reserved for Admiralty/Maritime command, as frivolous.

Please visit The American legion flag page debunks many of the myths surrounding the American flag.

Related Story: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Independence Day


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