Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Flag protocol

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Template:Orphan Flag protocol defines the proper placement, handling and use of flags. Some countries have added certain protocols into their law system while others prefer to have "guidelines" without civil or criminal consequences attached.

General guidelines

General guidelines are accepted practically universally.

Much of the flag protocol is derived from common sense. That is, using it as a table cover or wrapping paper are inappropriate uses. It should be treated with respect. Many countries consider signing a flag disrespectful, adding a border would be more 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 correct to fly the flag on its own right. To an observer it would be on 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, but is not necessary.

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

In a semicircle, the position of honour is the center. If a full circle is used outside 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.


When flown horizontally, as from a flag pole, the flag should be oriented so that the canton is closest to the top of the pole. If hung against a wall, the canton should be placed in the upper-left corner from the point of view of the observer.

When hung vertically, flags should be rotated so the canton is again closest to the top of the pole. If the flag is displayed against a wall, the canton should again appear in the upper-left corner, which incidentally requires that the flag be both rotated and 'flipped' from its horizontal orientation.

Other places

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

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

When carried in single file the flag of honour leads.

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 in the language of the host country.

By Country


Canada has many rules when it comes to flag etiquette. The link provides official information on Canadian Flag Etiquette. [1]


When a French vessel meets another French ship, she is to lower and raise her ensign as a greeting. A merchant ship meeting a ship of the French Navy will greet three times.

United States

When the flag is displayed at Half-Mast, it is customary to raise it all the way up the flag pole, then lower it to the half way mark. This is also done when lowering the flag. The flag is only displayed at half mast by presidential decree or act of Congress, the exception being Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, when the flag can be displayed at Half-Mast till sundown.

When displaying the U.S. Flag, it is customary for it to be above a state's flag when flown on the same pole. When flown separately, a state's flag may be at the same height as the U.S. flag, with the U.S. flag to the left of the state flag, from the perspective of the viewer.[2][3] When flown with several state flags, the U.S. flag should be at the same height and to the flag's own right (viewer's left), or at the center of and higher than a grouping of state flags.[4] The idea that only the Texas and Hawaii flags, which are both former national flags (Texas being the Republic of Texas, and Hawaii being the Kingdom of Hawaii), may be flown at an equal height to the U.S. flag is an urban legend.[5]

Saudi Arabia

The flag of Saudi Arabia bears the shahadah or Islamic creed of faith.

See also

External links