Is it Illegal to Damage an American Flag?

Is it Illegal to Damage an American Flag?

What if you damaged an American flag? Whether it be as a mistake or with pure intention, is it a legal or an illegal offense? This article will be giving the answer to the question: whether is it illegal to damage an American flag or not?

What Is a Flag Code Violation?

On apartments and outdoor stationary flagstaffs, display the flag from dawn to sunset. If the flag is ignited during the hours of darkness, it can be exhibited all day long.

You may proudly display a 48-star flag or another antique United States flag. President Eisenhower approved the 50-star flag as the national flag of the United States in 1959. Many historic American flags exist, and they may be shown as long as they are in great condition, according to custom. Historic American flags should be honored with the same reverence and ceremony as the national flag.

When Does Damage an American Flag Become Illegal?

The Flag Code does not include satisfaction for flagstaffs, but they are implied to be allowed. An eagle finial is used by the President, Vice President, political leaders and numerous federal agencies.

Moreover, keep an eye out for the union’s stance (the blue field). Unless the flag is at half-staff, the union should be at the apex of the staff, whether projected horizontally or at an angle from a windowsill or front of a structure. The union should be placed above the flag and to the observer’s left when shown against a wall or in a window.

Mistakes You Should Never Make with the American Flag

There are standards for the reputation of the American flag with care, allegiance whether you’re displaying it on a wall, outside, or on a vehicle.

In no way should the flag be used for commercial purposes. Advertising signs should never be attached to the staff or halyard of the flag (the rope used to hoist the flag). Likewise, there are various mistakes that should not be done with the American Flag. To know more, dive in!!

  • Any vehicle, including a train or a boat, should not have the flag displayed on the hood, top, sides, or back.
  • The flag, or any part of it, may not be worn as a costume or athletic uniform.
  • The flag should never be used for clothing, bedding, or drapes.
  • The flag should never be applied to cover up the ceiling of the room.
  • On the flag or any portion of the flag, no mark, insignia, letter, phrase, figure, design, image, or drawing may be placed.
  • It is forbidden to use the flag to receive, handle, carry, or deliver anything.
  • The flag should not be attached to any products that are only intended to be used for amendment.
  • Cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything else that will be thrown away should not have the flag embroidered, printed, or embossed on it.

Hanging the Flag in Bad Weather

One of the major mistake that has to be noted by every US citizen is that the flag should not be kept hanging in the case of bad weather. So, it is always recommended to take down the hanging flag when the weather is inclement. 

Displaying Flags of Many Nations at Different Heights

When more than two flags of various countries are on the showcase, they should be hung on the individual poles but at the similar height. The size of each flag should be of the same size which represents the equality and also do not showcase in a biased manner. 

Is Violating the Flag Code Illegal?

Several people usually ask Is it illegal to damage a flag? Well, it cannot be said Illegal, but you may have to pay a penalty if you do so. Because the flag is just an honorable thing for every country. And, you can imagine the tradition of any country by seeing its flag. Disrespecting the flag is a term of flag desecration. 

Before moving forward, this piece would like to tell you that the Title 4 flag contains a bunch of rules that tells you the way how an American flag should be handled. These rules have to be followed by every American citizen.

How to Properly Treat and Display the American Flag

Follow these supreme guidelines for displaying the American flag properly.

  • Throw away any flags that are torn, tattered, or otherwise unfit for display. According to US Code, Title 36, Section 176k, Respect for Flag, the flag should be dispersed in a courteous way, ideally by burning.
  • Bunting of blue, white, and red (always organized with the blue over, the white in the center, and the red below) may be used to cover an author’s desk, draped in front of a platform. And decorate the general interior or outside spaces for other patriotic adornment. Bunting is available in conventional cotton, easy-care cotton/poly, and handy plastic as ornamental banners, fans, and by the bolt.
  • Place a lapel flag pin near the heart on the left lapel.
  • Nothing beneath the flag, such as the floor, ground, water, or products, should be allowed to contact it.
  • The flag contains the patriotic spirit and must always hang freely and never be adorned, drawn back or up, or folded.
  • Protect your flag by avoiding displaying or storing it in a way that could cause it to be torn, soiled, or otherwise destroyed.


Did you know, the flag is sometimes flown at 1/2 on the President’s orders with a symbolic speech, usually after the death of a prominent member of the government or Congress as a symbol of respect for their memory?

When the flag is flown at half-staff, it should be flown to the peak for a brief moment before being lowered to half-staff. Just before the flag is down for the day, it should be hoisted to the top for a brief moment. Place the flag one-half the spacing between the top and bottom of the team to reach half-staff.

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