Residential Flagpole Regulations
Putting a flagpole in front of your residence can make a patriotic and beautiful display. Before setting up any flagpoles or buying your flag, research all of the relevant regulations and rules that affect your property. If you live within a community governed by an HOA (Homeowners' Association), check with the community covenants, conditions and restrictions. Wherever you live, be certain that your flag and flagpole are in concert with the regulations of the U.S. flag code.
If you're mounting a full flagpole in front of your residence, count on the daily chore of raising and lowering the flag. It's customary to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset, whether the flag is fixed to a building or out in the open. Unless you have an all-weather flag, it shouldn't be displayed during foul weather. If you prefer to leave the flag raised through the night, invest in lighting to properly illuminate it during hours of darkness. If you raise and lower the flag, the flag code prescribes that it be "raised briskly and lowered ceremoniously." If you decide against flying the flag every day, then simply raise it for important national holidays, including New Year's Day, Inauguration Day, Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Lincoln's Birthday, Washington's Birthday, Easter Sunday, Mother's Day, Armed Forces Day, Flag Day, Father's Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Constitution Day, Columbus Day, Navy Day, Veterans Day, November 11, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. On Memorial Day, fly the flag at half-staff until noon.
If your flagpole will accommodate more than one flag, never place another flag or pennant directly above the United States flag. If you fly the flags of states or localities together with the U.S. flag, on individual flagpoles, the United States flag should be at the center of the grouping and higher than the other flags. When raising and lowering the flags, hoist U.S. flag first and lower it last. If you fly the U.S. flag with that of another nation, each on individual flagpoles, ensure that the two flags are at the same height and of the same size.
If you fly a flag from a residential flagpole, you'll need to be familiar with half-staff protocol. When hoisting the flag to fly at half-staff, first raise it up to the flagpole's peak, momentarily, and then lower it to half-staff. Do the same when lowering. If the U.S. President so orders, the flag may be flown at half-staff in the case of death among any principal figures of the federal government or among any state governors. Likewise, the president may order flags to fly at half-mast on the occasion of death of any other dignitaries or officials, regardless of nationality.
Danielle Hill has been writing, editing and translating since 2005. She has contributed to "Globe Pequot" Barcelona travel guide, "Gulfshore Business Magazine," "Connecting Lines: New Poetry from Mexico" and "The Barcelona Review." She has trained in neuro-linguistic programming and holds a Bachelor of Arts in comparative literature and literary translation from Brown University.
- US Flag image by dwight9592 from Fotolia.com