9/11 - Patriot Day Flag Etiquette


As we approach September 11th, here are some of the most common questions and answers in regards to how to fly your flag per etiquette and honor the lives lost on this tragic day.

Should I fly my flag at half-staff on 9/11?

Each year the President issues a proclamation talking about the significance of Patriot Day and outlines that all federal / state institutions should fly their flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset. Private businesses and citizens do not have to follow this proclamation, but are strongly encouraged to do so as a gesture of remembrance for the fallen.


Flag at Half-Staff

How do I lower my flag to half-staff?

To lower your flag to half-staff, make sure you first raise it to the top and then lower it back down halfway to make room for an invisible flag of death above it. If you have more than one flag on a pole, make sure to remove the second flag so that it is not dishonored by touching the ground during half-staff. The American flag should be raised first and lowered last.


What if I can’t lower my flag to half-staff?

Flagpoles that are mounted at an angle (e.g. off the side of your house) do not accommodate flying a flag at half-staff. Instead attach a black mourning bow or a streamer to the top of the pole (underneath the ornament). For flags that hang on the wall, attach three mourning bows to the top: one to each corner and one in the middle.


Mourning Bow       Mourning Streamer


If you have any questions on how to properly fly your flag per etiquette, please feel free to reach out to us at customerservice@flagsonline.com.

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  • Maria Wyatt