How to Display an American Flag Without a Pole

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Specific etiquette applies to displaying the U.S. flag with respect.

Many people call it "Old Glory" or "The Stars and Stripes," but regardless of its nicknames, the American flag stands as a symbol for the freedom and liberties exercised by citizens of the United States. Federal law dictates how the flag is to be displayed, especially when it is erected without a flag pole. Above all, the flag must always be flown in a prominent position above other country and state flags. But if a pole isn't available, following specific guidelines will ensure you continue to show the flag respect.


Step 1

Hang the flag vertically over a street with the stars, or union, to the north or east, and toward the top.

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Step 2

Hang the flag vertically over a sidewalk, with the stars farthest away from the nearest building.

Step 3

Hang the flag vertically or horizontally on a wall, with the stars to the flag's right, so that they are to the observer's left. If displayed vertically, the stars would be to the top right. If the flag is behind a podium on the wall, it should be directly behind and above the speaker.


Step 4

Hang vertically in a window with the stars to the left of the person viewing the flag from the outside. The stars would be on the flag's right.

Step 5

Drape the flag over a casket with the stars across the area of the body's left shoulder.


Show proper respect of the flag by saluting or putting your right hand over your heart.


The American flag should never touch the ground or be carried flat. The American flag should never be hung in inclement weather.

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