Flag Day 2020: American, Florida Flag Display Rules

Deb Belt

FLORIDA — While it's not a holiday that prompts parades — even when they're not discouraged because of the coronavirus — or time off from work, Florida residents will take time on Sunday, June 14, to display the Stars and Stripes on Flag Day 2020.

The ritual has its roots in the June 14, 1777, adoption of the American flag by Congress. Patch dug into the history of the day, and has reminders on how to correctly display both the American and Florida flags.

A Wisconsin teacher named Bernard Cigrand is credited with first commemorating the flag's adoption in 1885; and he campaigned for years until President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation for national Flag Day observances in 1916. In 1949, President Harry Truman signed a law designating June 14 as Flag Day, according to the National Flag Day Foundation.

Here are some basics on Flag Day etiquette, as well as how to properly show respect whenever the colors are presented in ceremonies. And Military.com has tips on how to display a flag correctly, along with things NOT to do with it, including don't let the flag touch the ground and don't use the flag as clothing.

The American flag should be displayed from sunup to sundown. The flag may be displayed at night if it is properly illuminated after dark. The American Legion interprets "proper illumination" as a light specifically placed to illuminate the flag (preferred) or having a light source sufficient to illuminate the flag so it is recognizable as such by the casual observer.

When you attend any service where the flag is presented, you need to know whether to salute Old Glory. During ceremonies when the flag is hoisted or raised, spectators who aren't in military uniform should face the flag, stand at attention and place their right hands over their hearts.

Others should:

  • If you're in uniform, give a proper military salute;
  • A man who is not in uniform, but is wearing a hat should take it off with his right hand and hold it at his left shoulder with his palm resting on his heart;
  • If you're not a U.S. citizen, stand at attention.

When the flag advances in a moving column, it is appropriate to salute it as it passes.

If you fly the red-white-and-blue at home, make sure flag is in pristine condition and isn't tattered and torn, and that its red and white bars and the union (the blue field of stars) are bright and vibrant. If the flag is no longer suitable for display, dispose of it properly, preferably in a ceremonial burning. American Legion posts and other veteran groups often have flag-disposal ceremonies.

Florida State Flag Rules

The Sunshine State's official flag includes a white field with a red cross that has Florida's seal emblazoned at its center. The state seal was revised in 1985 to include a Seminole Indian woman, a steamboat and a sabal palm along with the motto "In God We Trust."

Florida's flag is flown daily, weather permitting, on buildings across the state. It may be flown at half-mast as ordered by the governor. It is traditionally flown at half-staff position, along with the American, flag on Memorial Day. Like the American flag, the state's flag should only be flown at half-staff until noon.

State law prohibits "the placing of any work, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, or advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, color, ensign, or shield of the United States or of the state of Florida," according to the For more information about flag etiquette and laws in Florida, visit the department of state online.

— Includes reporting by Patch Editor Beth Dalbey; Source: U.S. Flag Code

This article originally appeared on the St. Pete Patch