What’s the proper way to display a flag from my vehicle?

As a whole, Jeepers are a pretty patriotic lot. It’s no surprise, then, to see all manner of flags adorning Jeeps in parades, on special occasions and even just muddling around town.

But, what are the rules of proper etiquette regarding flying all those flags from a Jeep or other vehicle? Does it matter which side of the vehicle the flag is on? What about flying a flag at half-mast?

With Veterans Day parades on the horizon, here are some guidelines to make sure your patriotic display goes off without a hitch.

Basic guidelines

  • Securely attach the flagstaff to the vehicle to prevent it from flying off
  • The United States flag is to be the first flag raised, and the last lowered, in a group img_7375display
  • A single flag should be displayed either on the centerline of the vehicle or on the passenger side.
  • When flying multiple flags, the U.S. flag should be on the passenger side or, in a row of flags, in the center, raised higher than the flags around it.
  • Display the flag as if charging into battle, with the starry field as the leading edge. (When used as an image on the right side of a vehicle, the flag will look “backwards”.)
  • Clean and mend the flag, as needed
  • Retire a tattered or worn flag by burning in as dignified a manner as possible
  • Allow the flag to touch or drag the ground, even when stationIMG_3256ary in low or no wind
  • Fly a vehicle-mounted flag at half-mast
  • Fly any flag higher than the U.S. flag
  • Fly a flag larger than the U.S. flag in a group display
  • Dip the flag to any person or thing; it is flown upside down only as a distress signal
  • Use the flag as a drapery or for covering a speaker’s desk or podium
  • Use the flag for any advertising purpose or incorporated with any insignia or political iconography
  • Use the flag as part of a costume or athletic uniform. A flag patch may be used.
  • Place on the flag any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure or drawing of any kind


Military service flags

Flags representing the various branches of armed service have a proper display order, too. In a group, they should be lined up in the following order, lower than the U.S. flag.

  • Army
  • Marine Corps
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • U.S. Merchant Marine
  • Army National Guard
  • Army Reserve
  • Marine Corps Reserve
  • Naval Reserve
  • Air National Guard
  • Air Force Reserve
  • Coast Guard Reserve


Learn more about proper flag etiquette here: www.usflag.org/flagetiquette.html



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