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It’s easy to find the U.S. flag flying high almost any day of the week. It’s everywhere you look: municipal buildings, office parks, mom and pop shops, and homes throughout the neighborhood. On Memorial Day, though, you’re likely to see many more flags flying as we honor the sacrifices of the brave men and women who served in our nation’s military.

Recognizing the special significance of the U.S. flag on Memorial Day, you might also be curious to know proper U.S. flag etiquette. Let’s break it down for you.

What’s Memorial Day Flag Protocol?

Displaying the U.S. flag on Memorial Day

Fly the flag at half-staff on Memorial Day from sunrise until noon. (Half-staff means raised to the middle of the flagpole.) After that, raise it to the top of the staff until sunset. The two heights are significant. Half-staff is to honor our fallen veterans. Full-staff recognizes those still with us.

Apart from Memorial Day, there are two other times the U.S. flag is flown at half-staff:

  • During times of national tragedies
  • After the death of a current or former president, vice president, member of Congress, or other notable U.S. dignitary

Handling the U.S. flag on Memorial Day

Before placing the U.S. flag on a flagpole and after removing it, make sure that no part of the flag touches the ground or any other object. It should only come into contact with your hands and arms. If the flag touches the ground or another object below it, quickly fixes the situation.

Contrary to popular belief, the flag does not need to be destroyed if it touches the ground. If it gets dirty, there are several ways to clean it.

Flying the U.S. flag on your car

It’s a sign of national pride to display the U.S. flag on your car; however, it’s important to note that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. Make sure you’re following proper U.S. flag etiquette by:

  • Mounting a single U.S. flag on the center of your hood on the passenger side, or attaching the flagstaff to the chassis or right fender of your car. It should not obstruckt your view while driving.
  • Always flying the U.S. flag in the center of a row of other flags
  • Never flying another flag higher than the American flag

Learn more about displaying the American flag on your car or motorcycle.

Where will you display the U.S. flag on Memorial Day? Let us know in a comment below and don’t forget to celebrate the many men and women who are currently serving this great nation, too. At Direct Auto Insurance, we offer a military discount of up to 25% for active service members.* It’s one of the many small things we do to offer our best to this nation’s best.

More Ways to Honor our Service Men & Women


* Direct General Group, Nashville, TN. Rates vary.. Cost may vary based on how you buy. Discounts may only apply to certain coverages and are subject to terms and conditions. Military discounts are not available in all states.