| Motorcycles

{Updated: June 4, 2021}

Independence Day is a time when Americans across the country proudly display the Stars and Stripes everywhere, from their front lawns to their car doors. Lots of cities even have parades that welcome local citizens to participate by decorating their vehicles or towing floats. If you want to join in the festivities, don’t hesitate to display the American flag in all its red, white, and blue glory. Pickup, hatchback, SUV—it doesn’t matter what you drive, as long as you do it carefully and decorate respectfully. The same goes for motorcycles. Just make sure you have the proper car insurance or motorcycle insurance so you can ride in your local parade safely.

Before you head out, however, know that there are some guidelines for displaying the flag on non-military vehicles. Here are some helpful flag etiquette do’s and don’ts to follow, no matter what you drive.

How to Display the American Flag on a Car

Do:

  • Display a single U.S. flag with the staff firmly affixed to the chassis or the right front fender, according to the United States Flag Code.
  • Adjust flags in the post holes of the bed of a pickup truck so they are the same size and height.
  • Fly the American flag to the marching right of another flag or in the center position if flown with a group of flags.

Don’t:

  • Ever drape the American flag over the hood, top, sides, or back of a car, according to the United States Flag Code.
  • Fly the flag at half-staff.
  • Fly other flags higher than the American flag.
  • Fly flags larger than the American flag (equal size is okay).

How to Display the American Flag on a Motorcycle

The United States Flag Code doesn’t specifically address motorcycles, but these are some generally promoted guidelines from various sources.

Do:

  • Mount the American flag at the center of the rear of the bike or to the driver’s righthand side, according to Car and Driver.
  • Fly the American flag to the marching right of another flag or in the center position if flown with a group of flags.

Don’t:

  • Mount the flag on the driver’s left side.
  • Fly the flag at half-staff.
  • Fly any other flag higher than the American flag.
  • Fly any other flag larger than the American flag. (Flags of equal size are acceptable.)

About Service Flag Etiquette

Military service flags should be lined up in the following order, always lower than the U.S. flag:

  1. U.S. Army
  2. U.S. Marine Corps
  3. U.S. Navy
  4. U.S. Air Force
  5. U.S. Coast Guard
  6. U.S. Merchant Marine
  7. U.S. Army National Guard
  8. U.S. Army Reserve
  9. U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  10. U.S. Naval Reserve
  11. U.S. Air National Guard
  12. U.S. Air Force Reserve
  13. U.S. Coast Guard Reserve

As we noted with motorcycle flag etiquette above, you might see different guidance on how to fly the flag depending on where you look. If you’re unsure, consider contacting a local organization, like the nearest American Legion Post or Veterans Affairs Office. They might be able to steer you in the right direction. While you won’t get in legal trouble for flying the flag incorrectly, you want to make sure you’re being as respectful as possible.

How are you going to show your American pride this Fourth of July? Keep the conversation going on Direct’s Facebook and Twitter!

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