Displaying Flags on Historic Buildings

Here it is Flag Day, and Independence Day is approaching quickly.  Read on to find historical information and useful guidelines to help you know how to present flags on your historic building.  Take care to avoid damaging historic masonry and wood architectural moldings when attaching flag brackets.

As early as 1885, local and state governments across the country celebrated Flag Day –  the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777.  June 14th  was officially established as Flag Day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 to commemorate the establishment of the flag of the United States on June 14th, 1777 by the resolution of the 2nd Continental Congress.  In 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th as National Flag Day.

While everyone is honoring the United States flag, we thought this would be a good time to let you know that the City of Staunton and Augusta County also have flags.

  • Ten years after President Woodrow Wilson’s proclamation, the City of Staunton adopted a flag of its own on January 22, 1926.  The coat of arms on the flag are those of Virginia Governor Gooch’s wife – Lady Rebecca Staunton – for whom the city was named.
  • In April 1988, the Augusta County Board of Supervisors established a flag for Augusta county.  The County flag has a green field and shield representing its agricultural community and the date  1738, when the county was established.

Flag Etiquette: Standards of Respect

(from www.usflag.org)

  • When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.
  • When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag – of a state, community, society or Scout unit – the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.
  • When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag’s union should be farthest from the building.
  • When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor – to its own right.
    • The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
    • No other flag ever should be placed above it.
    • The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.
  • When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.

Complete information for treatment and display of the flag of the United States of America is provided on the American Legion‘s website.