According to the Federal Flag Code, the flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise. The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free. The flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property. The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, state flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor. The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag’s own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line. The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff or draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat.
The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
When used on a speaker’s platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman’s or speaker’s right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the audience.
When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.
To read the entire Code: http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL30243.pdf
Tomorrow, A Special Celebration of the Fourth Rita Bay