USPS Ship's Wheel Logo

Flag and Etiquette Committee

Do It Right!

Additional Resources

United States Flag Code—USC Title 4, Chapter 1

Title 4, Chapter 1 §5, Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005

FECom Graphics from the Operations Manual

Flags Of The World—more that 30,000 webpages and 56,000 images devoted to the study of flags

Flag Etiquette in Canada—website of the State Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols Program, within the State Ceremonial and Corporate Events Directorate

International Burgee Registry—free service with displays of yacht club & squadron burgees

Definitive Guide to Flag Display

In 1998, USPS in consultation with the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, New York Yacht Club and other yachting authorities developed an updated nautical flag code, How to Fly Flags, Nautical flag Display for use on private vessels. The new nautical flag code is flexible enough to accommodate the wide variation in construction of modern pleasure craft. New configurations of boats, riggings and the like have slightly modified the traditional points of honor. Use of antennas, fishing towers, outriggers, sailboat backstays, portside halyards, and double hoisting are all new to the nautical flag code. The booklet is available from USPS Headquarters and various marine retailers around the country for around seven dollars.

Current Errata Information (as of 1 Sep 04) for the 1998 Edition

Good Flag, Bad Flag - How to Design a Great Flag

Ted Kaye, a member of the North American Vexillological (the study of flags) Association NAVA, has created a electronic document that can be viewed on-line, or downloaded and printed, that graphically demonstrates the differences between good flag design and bad flag design. The document uses actual flags to demonstrate the five basic principles that should be used in creating any new flag: 1. keep it simple; 2. use meaningful symbolism; 3. use 2-3 basic colors; 4. no lettering or seals; and 5. be distinctive or be related. While these principles apply to any type of flag (i.e., organization, city, tribe, company, family, neighborhood, or even country), USPS squadrons and districts contemplating new flag designs should review the document carefully because these principles are used by the Flag & Etiquette Committee when reviewing new flags.

Good Flag, Bad Flag—How to Design a Great Flag

What is the proper way to fly flags on a gaff rigged pole?

This is the most frequently asked question received by the USPS Flag & Etiquette Committee. Gaff-rigged poles are used by navies, boaters and yacht clubs around the world. Onshore, the "yacht club style flagpole" with a gaff represents the mast of a ship. A gaff rigged pole may, or may not have a yardarm or crosstree. More...

Floral Version of Old Glory

This 2002 floral flag was planted by the Bodger Seed Company as a tribute after the September 11, 2001 tragedy. It was740 feet long and 390 feet wide (maintaining the proper flag dimensions described in Executive Order #10834.) It was located near Vandenberg AFB and covers 6.65 acres. The flag was the first floral flag to be planted with 5 pointed stars comprised of White Larkspur. Each star is 24 feet in diameter, each stripe is 30 feet wide. The flag was estimated to contain more than 400,000 Larkspur plants with 4-5 flower stems each for a total of more than 2 million flowers. Between the field where the flag was planted there are 9+ miles of flower fields that go all the way to ocean. The flowers are grown by seed companies. (Photo courtesy of Bill Morson)

Privacy | Trademarks | Disclaimer | WebMaster | ©2006 United States Power Squadrons