Flying The American Flag Upside Down Is An Afficially Recognized Signal Of Distress

We need to be flying it upside down right now

Upside Down Flag

Flying the American flag upside down is an officially recognized signal of distress.

Here is the relevant part of the US Code of Laws regarding how to fly the flag when in distress:



Title 4, Chapter 1
§ 8(a)The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
Most individuals who have served in military service of our nation should recognize this signal.

People ask if it is OK to fly the flag upside down in protest, for example: to protest the economy, an election or against the war. The Flag Code states it should only be displayed upside down when there is extreme danger to life or property. It would be quite the stretch to make an argument that any type of political purpose would constitute “dire distress”. It is recommended that people who wish to make a protest in this fashion do so that it is respectful of the flag. We must remember that our flag represents the government of the United States and all of its policies. It also stands for our freedom of speech, our right to practice or even not to practice the religion of our choice and it represents one united nation in all its glory and the American values. Most importantly it stands for the sacrifices made past, present and in the future to protect our freedoms. Read the proper ways to display the American flag under specific circumstances on our Displaying The Flag page.


Displaying the Flag

When displaying the American flag over the middle of a street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.

When the American flag is displayed with another flag with crossed staffs against a wall, the American flag should be on the right, the flags own right which would be the viewer’s left. The staff of the American flag should be in front of the other flag.

When the American flag is being flown at half-staff, it should first be hoisted to the peak for a moment and then lowered to the half-staff position. When the American flag is being lowered for the day it should be raised to the peak before it is lowered. By “half-staff” is meant lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. It is only by order of the President of the United States, that black crepe streamers may be affixed to spear heads or flagstaffs in a parade.

When the American flag is being displayed with flags of states, cities, schools or pennants of societies on the same halyard, the American flag should always be at the peak with the non-national flags below it. When flying flags on adjacent staffs, the American flag should always be hoisted first and lowered last. No other flag or pennant may be placed above the American flag or to the right of the flag. The flags right or the viewer’s left. When the American flag is half-staffed on the same halyard with another flag, both flags are half-staffed, with the American flag at the mid-point and the other flag below.

When displaying the American flag suspended over a sidewalk on a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.

When displaying the American flag from a staff projecting at an angle or horizontally from a window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff.

When the American flag is being used to cover a casket, it should be placed so that the union of the flag is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be allowed to touch the ground or lowered into the grave.

When the American flag is being displayed in such a manner other than being flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When the flag is being displayed either vertically or horizontally against a wall, it should be displayed so that the union is uppermost and to the flag’s own right (to the flags right and the observer’s left).

When the American flag is carried in a parade with another flag, or flags, the American flag should be either on the marching right; meaning the flag’s own right, or if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.

The American flag should always be at the center and at the highest point of a group when a number of flags of states or localities are grouped and displayed from staffs.

When displaying flags of two or more nations, they should be flown from separate staffs of equal height. The flags should be of approximately the same size. International usage prohibits the display of a flag of one nation above that of another nation in times of peace.

When displaying the American flag from a staff in a public auditorium or church, on or off a podium, the American flag should hold the location of superior prominence, in front of the audience. It should hold the position of honor at the clergyman’s or speaker’s right as he faces the audience. From the audience the American flag will be on the left. Any additional flag displayed should be placed to the left of the clergyman or speaker, to the right as viewed by the audience.

When the American flag is being displayed on a car, the staff will be attached firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.

When the American is displayed in a window, place the flag so that when being observed from the street the union, or field of blue, is on the viewer’s left.



Mad As Hell THE ACT OF 1871 ( 70 PAGES )