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The National Flag represents the living country and is
considered to be a living thing emblematic of the respect and pride we have for
our nation. Display it proudly.
UNITED STATES CODE
§ 170. National anthem; Star-Spangled Banner.
§ 171. Conduct during playing.
§ 172. Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery.
§ 173. Display and use of flag by civilians; codification of rules and customs;
§ 174. Time and occasions for display.
§ 175. Position and manner of display.
§ 176. Respect for flag.
§ 177. Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag.
§ 178. Modification of rules and customs by President.
§ 179. Design for service flag; persons entitled to display flag.
§ 180. Design for service lapel button; persons entitled to wear button.
§ 181. Approval of designs by Secretary of Defense; license tomanufacture and
§ 182. Rules and regulations.
§ 182a to 184. Repealed.
§ 185. Transferred.
§ 186. National motto.
§ 187. National floral emblem.
§ 188. National march.
§ 189. Recognition of National League of Families POW/MIA flag.
§170. National anthem; Star-Spangled Banner
The composition consisting of the words and music known as The Star-Spangled
designated the national anthem of the United States of America.
§171. Conduct during playing
During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present
except those in uniform
should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart.
Men not in uniform should
remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder,
the hand being over the
heart. Persons in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of
the anthem and retain
this position until the last note. When the flag is not displayed, those present
should face toward the
music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed there.
§172. Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, 'I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the
United States of
America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and
justice for all.', should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag
with the right hand over the
heart. When not in uniform men should remove their headdress with their right
hand and hold it at the
left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain
silent, face the flag, and
render the military salute.
§173. Display and use of flag by civilians; codification of rules and customs;
The following codification of existing rules and customs pertaining to the
display and use of the flag of
the United States of America is established for the use of such civilians or
civilian groups or
organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by
one or more
executive departments of the Government of the United States. The flag of the
United States for the
purpose of this chapter shall be defined according to sections 1 and 2 of title
4 and Executive Order
10834 issued pursuant thereto.
§174. Time and occasions for display
(a) Display on buildings and stationary flagstaffs in open; night display
It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on
buildings and on
stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired,
the flag may be
displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of
(b) Manner of hoisting
The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
(c) Inclement weather
The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except
when an all
weather flag is displayed.
(d) Particular days of display
The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on New Year's Day, January
Inauguration Day, January 20; Lincoln's Birthday, February 12; Washington's
Monday in February; Easter Sunday (variable); Mother's Day, second Sunday in
Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May; Memorial Day (half-staff until noon),
Monday in May; Flag Day, June 14; Independence Day, July 4; Labor Day, first
September; Constitution Day, September 17; Columbus Day, second Monday in
Navy Day, October 27; Veterans Day, November 11; Thanksgiving Day, fourth
November; Christmas Day, December 25; and such other days as may be proclaimed
President of the United States; the birthdays of States (date of admission); and
(e) Display on or near administration building of public institutions
The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building
of every public
(f) Display in or near polling places
The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.
(g) Display in or near schoolhouses
The flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.
§175. Position and manner of display
The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be
either on the marching
right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in
front of the center of that line.
(a) The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff,
or as provided
in subsection (i) of this section.
(b) The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a
vehicle or of a
railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff
shall be fixed firmly
to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
(c) No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to
the right of the
flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by
chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during
for the personnel of the Navy. No person shall display the flag of the United
Nations or any
other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior
honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the
United States or
any Territory or possession thereof: Provided, That nothing in this section
shall make unlawful
the continuance of the practice heretofore followed of displaying the flag of
the United Nations
in a position of superior prominence or honor, and other national flags in
positions of equal
prominence or honor, with that of the flag of the United States at the
headquarters of the
(d) The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another
flag against a
wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag's own right, and its
staff should be in
front of the staff of the other flag.
(e) The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the
highest point of
the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of
societies are grouped
and displayed from staffs.
(f) When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are
flown on the same
halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the
peak. When the
flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be
hoisted first and
lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United
States or to
the United States flag's right.
(g) When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from
of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size.
International usage forbids
the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of
(h) When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting
horizontally or at an
angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the
flag should be
placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff. When the flag
is suspended over a
sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the
sidewalk, the flag
should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.
(i) When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union
uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When
displayed in a
window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union or blue
field to the left of
the observer in the street.
(j) When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be
with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north
and south street.
(k) When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be
and behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church or public
auditorium, the flag
of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence,
of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's
right as he faces
the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the
speaker or to the right of the audience.
(l) The flag should form a distinctive feature of the ceremony of unveiling a
monument, but it should never be used as the covering for the statue or
(m) The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for
an instant and
then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the
peak before it is
lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff
only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag
shall be flown at
half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government
Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their
memory. In the
event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be
displayed at half-staff
according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with
recognized customs or
practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or
former official of
the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States, the
that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall
be flown at
half-staff. The flag shall be flown at half-staff thirty days from the death of
the President or a
former President; ten days from the day of death of the Vice President, the
Chief Justice or a
retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of
from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme
Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or
the Governor of
a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day
for a Member
of Congress. As used in this subsection -
(1) the term 'half-staff' means the position of the flag when it is one-half the
between the top and bottom of the staff;
(2) the term 'executive or military department' means any agency listed under
101 and 102 of title 5; and
(3) the term 'Member of Congress' means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate,
the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.
(n) When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the
union is at the head
and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or
allowed to touch
(o) When the flag is suspended across a corridor or lobby in a building with
only one main
entrance, it should be suspended vertically with the union of the flag to the
observer's left upon
entering. If the building has more than one main entrance, the flag should be
vertically near the center of the corridor or lobby with the union to the north,
are to the east and west or to the east when entrances are to the north and
south. If there are
entrances in more than two directions, the union should be to the east.
§176. Respect for flag
No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the
flag should not be
dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization
or institutional flags
are to be dipped as a mark of honor.
(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal
of dire distress
in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the
floor, water, or
(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and
(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It
should never be
festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.
Bunting of blue,
white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle,
and the red
below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the
for decoration in general.
(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a
manner as to permit
it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor
attached to it any
mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding,
carrying, or delivering
(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner
whatsoever. It should
not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like,
otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for
and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from
which the flag
(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.
However, a flag
patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen,
and members of
patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself
considered a living
thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left
lapel near the
(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem
for display, should
be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.
§177. Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag
During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing
in a parade or in
review, all persons present except those in uniform should face the flag and
stand at attention with the
right hand over the heart. Those present in uniform should render the military
salute. When not in
uniform, men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at
the left shoulder, the
hand being over the heart. Aliens should stand at attention. The salute to the
flag in a moving column
should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.
§178. Modification of rules and customs by President
Any rule or custom pertaining to the display of the flag of the United States of
America, set forth
herein, may be altered, modified, or repealed, or additional rules with respect
thereto may be
prescribed, by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States,
deems it to be appropriate or desirable; and any such alteration or additional
rule shall be set forth in
§179. Design for service flag; persons entitled to display flag
The Secretary of Defense is authorized and directed to approve a design for a
service flag, which
flag may be displayed in a window of the place of residence of persons who are
members of the
immediate family of a person serving in the armed forces of the United States
during any period of
war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States may be
§180. Design for service lapel button; persons entitled to wear button
The Secretary of Defense is also authorized and directed to approve a design for
a service lapel
button, which button may be worn by members of the immediate family of a person
serving in the
armed forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in
which the Armed Forces
of the United States may be engaged.
§181. Approval of designs by Secretary of Defense; license to manufacture and
Upon the approval by the Secretary of Defense of the design for such service
flag and service lapel
button, he shall cause notice thereof, together with a description of the
approved flag and button, to
be published in the Federal Register. Thereafter any person may apply to the
Secretary of Defense
for a license to manufacture and sell the approved service flag, or the approved
service lapel button,
or both. Any person, firm, or corporation who manufactures any such service flag
or service lapel
button without having first obtained such a license, or otherwise violates
sections 179 to 182 of this
title, shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $1,000.
§182. Rules and regulations
The Secretary of Defense is authorized to make such rules and regulations as may
be necessary to
carry out the provisions of sections 179 to 182 of this title.
§182a to 182d. Repealed. Pub. L. 89-534, § 2, Aug. 11, 1966, 80 Stat. 345
The national motto of the United States is declared to be 'In God we trust.'
§187. National floral emblem
The flower commonly known as the rose is designated and adopted as the national
floral emblem of
the United States of America, and the President of the United States is
authorized and requested to
declare such fact by proclamation.
§188. National march
The composition by John Philip Sousa entitled 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' is
as the national march of the United States of America.
§189. Recognition of National League of Families POW/MIA flag
The National League of Families POW/MIA flag is hereby recognized officially and
the symbol of our Nation's concern and commitment to resolving as fully as
possible the fates of
Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus
ending the uncertainty
for their families and the Nation.
UNITED STATES CODE
CHAPTER 1 - THE FLAG
§1. Flag; stripes and stars on
The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate
red and white; and the
union of the flag shall be fifty stars, white in a blue field.
§ 2. Same; additional stars
On the admission of a new State into the Union one star shall be added to the
union of the flag; and
such addition shall take effect on the fourth day of July then next succeeding
§ 3. Use of flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of flag
Any person who, within the District of Columbia, in any manner, for exhibition
or display, shall place
or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, or any
advertisement of any
nature upon any flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of
America; or shall expose or
cause to be exposed to public view any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign
upon which shall have
been printed, painted, or otherwise placed, or to which shall be attached,
appended, affixed, or
annexed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, or drawing, or any
advertisement of any nature; or
who, within the District of Columbia, shall manufacture, sell, expose for sale,
or to public view, or
give away or have in possession for sale, or to be given away or for use for any
purpose, any article
or substance being an article of merchandise, or a receptacle for merchandise or
article or thing for
carrying or transporting merchandise, upon which shall have been printed,
painted, attached, or
otherwise placed a representation of any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign,
to advertise, call
attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which
so placed shall be
deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding
$100 or by
imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the
court. The words 'flag,
standard, colors, or ensign', as used herein, shall include any flag, standard,
colors, ensign, or any
picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of
any substance or
represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of
said flag, standard,
colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a picture or a
representation of either, upon
which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of
either thereof, or of any
part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without
deliberation may believe
the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States
UNITED STATES CODE
CHAPTER 2 - THE SEAL
§ 41. Seal of the United States
The seal heretofore used by the United States in Congress assembled is declared
to be the seal of
the United States.
§ 42. Same; custody and use of
The Secretary of State shall have the custody and charge of such seal. Except as
provided by section
2902(a) of title 5, the seal shall not be affixed to any instrument without the
special warrant of the
UNITED STATES CODE
CHAPTER 29 - COMMISSIONS, OATHS, RECORDS, AND REPORTS
SUBCHAPTER I - COMMISSIONS, OATHS, AND RECORDS
§ 2902. Commission; where recorded
(a) Except as provided by subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the Secretary
of State shall make
out and record, and affix the seal of the United States to, the commission of an
officer appointed by
the President. The seal of the United States may not be affixed to the
commission before the
commission has been signed by the President.
UNITED STATES CODE
TITLE 5 PART I
CHAPTER 1 - ORGANIZATION
§ 101. Executive departments
The Executive departments are:
The Department of State. The Department of the Treasury. The Department of
Department of Justice. The Department of the Interior. The Department of
Department of Commerce. The Department of Labor. The Department of Health and
Services. The Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Department of
The Department of Energy. The Department of Education. The Department of
§ 102. Military departments
The military departments are:
The Department of the Army. The Department of the Navy. The Department of the
UNITED STATES CODE
Part I. CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 33 - EMBLEMS, INSIGNIA, AND NAMES
THIS TITLE WAS ENACTED BY ACT JUNE 25, 1948, CH. 645, SEC. 1, 62 STAT. 683
§ 700. Desecration of the flag of the United States; penalties
(a)(1) Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns,
maintains on the floor
or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under
this title or
imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
(2) This subsection does not prohibit any conduct consisting of the disposal of
a flag when it
has become worn or soiled.
(b) As used in this section, the term 'flag of the United States' means any flag
of the United
States, or any part thereof, made of any substance, of any size, in a form that
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed as indicating an intent on the
part of Congress to
deprive any State, territory, possession, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico of
over any offense over which it would have jurisdiction in the absence of this
(d)(1) An appeal may be taken directly to the Supreme Court of the United States
interlocutory or final judgment, decree, or order issued by a United States
district court ruling
upon the constitutionality of subsection (a).
(2) The Supreme Court shall, if it has not previously ruled on the question,
over the appeal and advance on the docket and expedite to the greatest extent
UNITED STATES CODE
CHAPTER 9A - ORGANIZATION
§ 285b. Functions
The functions of the Office shall be as follows:
(1) To prepare, and submit to the Committee on the Judiciary one title at a
time, a complete
compilation, restatement, and revision of the general and permanent laws of the
which conforms to the understood policy, intent, and purpose of the Congress in
enactments, with such amendments and corrections as will remove ambiguities,
and other imperfections both of substance and of form, separately stated, with a
view to the
enactment of each title as positive law.
(2) To examine periodically all of the public laws enacted by the Congress and
submit to the
Committee on the Judiciary recommendations for the repeal of obsolete,
superseded provisions contained therein.
(3) To prepare and publish periodically a new edition of the United States Code
those titles which are not yet enacted into positive law as well as those titles
which have been
so enacted), with annual cumulative supplements reflecting newly enacted laws.
(4) To classify newly enacted provisions of law to their proper positions in the
the titles involved have not yet been enacted into positive law.
(5) To prepare and submit periodically such revisions in the titles of the Code
been enacted into positive law as may be necessary to keep such titles current.
(6) To prepare and publish periodically new editions of the District of Columbia
annual cumulative supplements reflecting newly enacted laws, through publication
of the fifth
annual cumulative supplement to the 1973 edition of such Code.
(7) To provide the Committee on the Judiciary with such advice and assistance as
committee may request in carrying out its functions with respect to the revision
codification of the Federal statutes.