Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Flag protocol

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Flag protocol defines the proper placment, handling and use of flags. Some countries have added certain protocols into their law system while others prefer to have "guidelines".

General guidelines

The following are accepted as general rules to the flying of flags. There may be exceptions or difference according to the individual country.

Much of the flag protocol is derived from common sense. That is, don't use it as a table cover or to wrap boxes in. It should be treated with respect. Many countries consider signing a flag disrespectful, adding a border would be appropriate. Pinning or sewing items to a flag would also be ill advised.

On a mast or pole

The flag of honour, that is the nation's flag in most cases, is flown on the center mast if possible. It is also right to fly the flag at the far left. If more than three flags are used the proper position is as far left from the point of view of an observer. An additional flag may be placed on the right side.

When two poles are crossed the position of honour is the flag the ends on the left side from the point fo view of an observer (therefore the pole will end on the right).

In a semi-cirlce the position of honour is the center. If a full circle is used outsied an entrance to an arena or stadium the position of honour is directly opposite the entrance. If used to line the walls of the arena the flag should be placed directly opposite the entrance.


Flags should be rotated so the centon is in the upper left corner. So, a Canadian flag would have the stem pointing to the right.

When carried in single file the flag of honour leads.

Other places

On a vehicle the flag should be affixed securely to the front right of the chassis.

When placed with a spajer or at a place of worship the flag should be hange directly behind or on a pole to the right of the speaker, from the point of view of the audience.

Multiple flags

When flags of many nations are flown the flag of the hosting country should be placed on the left with the rest following in alphabetical order.