Flag-Flying Etiquette You Need to Know

Learn the proper way to display the stars and stripes. You'll want to flag these tips for later.

Traditional Home Decorated for the Fourth of July

Classic White Colonial Home With Patriotic Bunting

HGTV Magazine presents this traditional Colonial home decorating for the Fourth of July with red, white and blue bunting.

Photo by: Kathryn Packard

Kathryn Packard

Take inspiration from these star-spangled homes and show your patriotic colors. But first, check out these tips for hanging the American flag properly on the Fourth of July (and every other day of the year).

Flag-Flying Rules

  • Flags are meant to be displayed from sunrise to sunset. You can fly one at night, but if you do, it should be illuminated.

  • The flag should never touch the ground, the floor or anything that may sit beneath it, including tables, chairs, railings and bushes.

  • There’s a difference between half-staff and half-mast. "Half-mast" technically refers to a flag flown on a ship's mast, while "half-staff" describes flags flown on land, though they're commonly used interchangeably. (Flags should be flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day.)
  • It’s against the official Flag Code to hang a tattered flag. If yours is in bad shape, you can wash, dry-clean and/or sew it.

  • Unsalvageable flags should be dropped off at a local American Legion or VFW office for retirement, or burned discreetly.

Ways to Decorate With Stars and Stripes

An American Flag Bouquet on a Black Front Door

Black Front Door Decorated With American Flags

HGTV Magazine presents a unique way to display American flags on a front door.

Photo by: Karri Perry

Karri Perry

Make a Bouquet

Karri Perry (@blueribbonfavorites), a blogger in West Chester, Ohio, used floral foam to secure small flags in a hanging basket on her door. “More is definitely better,” she says. Add a few rocks so the basket doesn’t blow in the wind.

Yard Decorated for the 4th of July with a Painted Wood Flag

Outdoor DIY Wooden American Flag Sign

HGTV Magazine presents a unique DIY American flag idea to decorate for the the Fourth of July.

Photo by: Kelly Elko

Kelly Elko

Paint Your Own

Blogger Kelly Elko (@kelly.elko) transformed a section of wood fencing into a flag for her Summit, New Jersey, house. She cut it down to 13 pickets, painted the stripes and square, then added a clamshell wreath for the stars.

White House With a Flag Hanging on the Front Porch

White Colonial Home With an American Flag

HGTV Magazine presents a traditional white Colonial home with an American flag hanging on the front porch.

Photo by: Chrissie Anthony Haim

Chrissie Anthony Haim

Go Vertical

“I wish I could go even bigger!” says designer Chrissie Anthony Haim (@chrissiehomeanddesign) of the 4-foot-by-6-foot flag adorning her Locust Valley, New York, home. It stays put from Memorial Day to Veterans Day, and a spotlight shines on it at night. Good to know: When displaying a flag vertically, the blue square (called the Union) must be in the observer’s top left.

Traditional Colonial House Decorated for the 4th of July

Classic White Colonial Home With Patriotic Bunting

HGTV Magazine presents this traditional Colonial home decorating for the Fourth of July with red, white and blue bunting.

Photo by: Kathryn Packard

Kathryn Packard

Bring on the Bunting

Bunting is an easy and affordable way to get in the spirit, says Spotsylvania County, Virginia, blogger Kathryn Packard (@kathrynpackard), who snagged these online for $25 each. “Be sure it’s outdoor material, so it can get wet and won’t fade,” she says. And look for bunting with grommets so you can easily hang it from hooks or zip ties.

Patriotic Blue Boy's Bedroom

Farmhouse Bedroom With Americana Style

This blue farmhouse bedroom features an American flag, gingham bedding and a writing desk.

Photo by: Kevin Miyazaki

Kevin Miyazaki

Take It Inside

Blogger Margaret York (@margaretofyork) keeps the patriotic vibes going all year long in her son's bedroom. Displaying the flag as wall art gives this space cool Americana style. You could also try hanging it horizontally above a bed for the most star-spangled "headboard" ever.

Next Up

Create a Christmas Village of Glittering Mini Houses

Vintage-inspired miniature houses are making a comeback. See what’s on the market.

No-Fail Color Combos From the HGTV Stars

Sometimes two colors are better than one. The HGTV stars share their favorite duos.

20 Specialty Bulbs and Statement Lights to Brighten Any Space

These cool bulbs should be exposed! Shop the HGTV Magazine editors' top picks — plus light fixtures that let them shine.

Would You Try These Wild Wallpapers?

Not sure if a daring pattern is for you? These homeowners say, 'No regrets!'

2023's Coolest Home Decor Trends to Try Right Now

Here’s what’s in (and what’s back) for home decor, according to the editors at HGTV Magazine.

The Best Eco-Friendly Home and Decor Products

How green can you go? Shop our favorite new sustainable finds.

The Best Fourth of July Sales to Shop Now

Get what you need for a great price now, and get your home projects squared away after the holiday.

DIY Hanukkah Gift Wrapping Ideas

Make your Hanukkah gifts look great for eight nights straight with these ideas from HGTV Magazine. That's a wrap!

Decorating Ideas to Steal From Boutique Hotels

Steal the look of these cozy hotels: Every room is full of ideas!

HGTV Magazine's 2023 Holiday Gift Guide

The editors picked their favorite 50 gifts under $50. Find something fun (and affordable) for everyone on your list!

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.