As the weather starts to change from Winter to Spring, people around the country begin to pull out their American flags and fly them proudly outdoors.
We like to call this time of year “Flag Season”.
In this quick guide, we outline everything you need to know about Flag Season, the US Flag Code, and the rules for properly displaying the American flag on your property, including a lesser known part of this code related to keeping your flag lit up at night.
To kick things off, we’ll start by answering some of the basic questions about Flag Season and Flag Day in the United States.
While there is no “official” Flag Season in the United States, most home and property owners like show their patriotism by displaying the American flag starting on Easter, then through Independence Day (the Fourth of July) and through the rest of the Summer.
If you are planning to display the stars and stripes all year round, this is best accomplished in temperate areas such as Southern California, Florida, and Hawaii. In the rest of the country, many people choose to take down the American flag in the winter due to potential damage to the flag, or to avoid the hassle of repeatedly taking down and putting up the flag.
Outside of the American flag being the most popular to display, many flags are flown this time of year. While there are specific flags displayed for holidays, sports teams, and other events, many people also choose to display additional flags for other organizations and affiliations in good weather conditions.
In the United States, proud Americans display their patriotism by displaying their flags on a few major national holidays each year. The most common days to fly your American flag are:
As you can see, May, June and July are big months for fly flying, which is why we’ve coined the phrase “Flag Season” for this time of year!
In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated annually on June 14th. Flag Day recognizes the country’s adoption of the first US flag on June 14, 1777. While the number of stripes remains at 13, the number of stars on the modern US flag has grown significantly since the first 18th-century design.
The first-ever United States Flag Day was held on June 14, 1916, after President Woodrow Wilson established the holiday earlier in the year. In Mexico, Flag Day (known as Día de la Bandera) is celebrated on February 24th, a tradition honoring the Mexican flag that dates back to 1937.
As you can probably imagine, the absolute best way to celebrate Flag Day is simply to proudly display the American flag outside of your home. Flags can be mounted in many different positions outside of a home, but should adhere to US Flag Code (more information on this below) out of respect to the flag and the country.
Around the US, there are also many local celebrations and parades associated with Flag Day each year. The towns of Quincy, Massachusetts, Troy, New York, and Three Oaks, Michigan are among the top locations for the longest-standing and most attended flag day parades each year.
If you’re displaying the American flag this season, ensure that you are doing it by adhering to the United States Flag Code.
The US Flag Code is the nickname for a 1942 piece of legislation that has outlined the rules for honoring the American flag. This resource from Cornell Law School outlines all of the current rules of the official US Flag Code, the most important of which we will highlight below.
The rules for displaying the American flag have been put in place to show symbolic respect for the United States of America. To properly display your patriotism under the US Flag Code, the American flag should:
Most importantly, the American flag should never be flown below another flag when displayed in the United States (except for the United Nations Flag at the UN headquarters). If a few flags are on display at the same height level, all other flags must be placed to the right of the American flag.
Beyond these display rules, it is generally advised not to use the American flag for any purpose other than patriotic display. The flag code states that Americans should not place any items on top of the stars and stripes, nor use the flag in designs for cushions, handkerchiefs, or paper products.
So now that you know the basics about the US flag code, how does this relate to solar? Read on, my friend...
Traditionally, the United States flag is raised at dawn and taken down at night. However, if you would like to leave your flag up throughout the evening, it must remain on display with proper illumination.
Flags can be left out at night with a light shining on the red, white, and blue from the top of the flagpole, from the base, or from another location such as a wall mount.
Here’s where the solar solution comes into play!
For people who fly their flags 20-25 feet or lower from the ground, solar spotlights and flag pole lights are a great option, particularly when there are no electrical outlets nearby.
SOLVAO’s solar spotlight is the best option on the market to keep your flag illuminated all night. Being our best-selling product for flag illumination, the SS40 can easily be staked into the ground or mounted on a nearby wall or fence to provide light for flags up to 20 feet in height.
The best part about using solar to light up your flag is portability. As long as you can position the solar panel to receive direct sunlight, you can light up any flag, anywhere, with no electrical outlets needed.
Another benefit to using solar power to light up your flag is the cost savings on electricity. Not only can you bring your solar flag light anywhere, but using the sun’s energy is free and won’t appear on your electricity bill.
American flags should be taken down during periods of inclement weather to prevent damage. If you have left your flag out in poor weather conditions, unexpected storms can leave a flag damaged or soiled past the point of no return. In these instances, it is permissible to dispose of (i.e. throw away, recycle, or ceremoniously burn) your American Flag.
Of course, ethical treatment of the flag in its final stage of life is crucial as well. According to U.S. Code § 700, any person who “knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground or tramples” a good-condition American flag may be subject to fines or imprisonment.
Although you are most likely to get off with a warning on your first offense, there can be serious consequences for improperly treating a United States flag.
To adhere to the US Flag code and save yourself some time from daily hoisting and lowering, we recommend the SOLVAO solar spotlight as one of the best products to accompany your flag.
With a solar spotlight, your flag will be automatically illuminated every night with nothing but free, independent solar energy. After all, what’s more, American than freedom and independence?
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