While there are no penalties in place for displaying the flag in ways that go against the rules; guidelines are in place to showcase the utmost respect for Old Glory.
To display the flag the way it is intended, follow these suggestions from the American Legion.
• Do not display the flag on days where weather is inclement unless you are using an all-weather flag. While most banners feature a resistant material, using one in questionable conditions can lead to early degradation.
• Display the flag at half-staff when the president or governor orders it. This is a way for the nation to unite and mourn the death of an important person or after a national tragedy.
• Display the flag vertically when it is not positioned on a staff. Hang the banner so the blue union is uppermost and to the flag’s own right (to the observer’s left).
• Do not allow the flag to touch the ground. The Flag Code says the banners should not touch anything beneath it. While accidents may occur, the idea is that the historic symbol should be handled with care to protect it from becoming soiled or damaged.
• Do not fly the flag at night unless it is properly illuminated.
• Fold the flag in the shape of a triangle. When performed correctly, the blue union should be the only visible part of the flag.
The Legion also suggests that to honor the life of a fallen veteran or highly regarded state and national figures, draping a flag over the casket can be used as tribute.