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Flag Protocol By country

Apr 01, 2017


Members of the royal family and the nobility each have their own flags. The Standard of the Sultan must be flown only over Istana Nurul Iman. The same goes for the Crown Prince (Deputy Sultan)'s flag, but other non-royal title holders fly the national flag. As in many other countries, Bruneians consider it taboo for the flag to touch the ground.


When a French vessel meets another French ship, it is to lower and raise its ensign as a greeting. A merchant ship meeting a ship of the French Navy will greet three times.


Main article: Flag of India § Protocol

The flag of India has a very distinctive protocol and is governed by the Flag Code of India, 2002 the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950; and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.[2]

Insults to the national flag, are punishable by law with imprisonment up to three years, or a fine, or both.[3]

Official regulation states that the flag must never touch the ground or water, or be used as a drapery in any form.

Disposal of damaged flags is also covered by the flag code. Damaged or soiled flags may not be cast aside or disrespectfully destroyed; they have to be destroyed as a whole in private, preferably by burning or by any other method consistent with the dignity of the flag.

Saudi Arabia

Because the flag of Saudi Arabia bears the Shahada, it is never flown at half-mast.

United Kingdom

The Department for Communities and Local Government in November 2012 released the Plain English guide to flying flags for England, a "summary of the new, more liberalised, controls over flag flying that were introduced on 12 October 2012". In England, the statute governing the flying of flags are The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 and 2012.

United States

Main article: United States Flag Code

When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.

The flag should be to the speaker's right (also described as the flag's own right or audience's left), that is to the left of the podium or pulpit as the speaker is facing the audience. Old guidelines had a distinction whether the flag was at the level of the speaker on a stage or the level of the audience. That distinction has been eliminated and the rule simplified.

When the flag is displayed at half-staff, it is customary to raise it briskly to the top the flag pole, then lower it slowly to the half-way mark. This is also done when lowering the flag. The flag is only displayed at half-staff by presidential decree or act of Congress – the exceptions are Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, when the flag can be displayed at half-staff until sundown – and on Memorial Day, the flag is flown at half-staff until noon, and then raised to full staff for the remainder of the day.

When displaying the US flag, it is customary for it to be above a state's flag when flown on the same pole. When flown separately, a state's flag may be at the same height as the US flag, with the US flag to the left of the state flag, from the perspective of the viewer.When flown with several state flags, the US flag should be at the same height and to the flag's own right (viewer's left), or at the center of and higher than a grouping of state flags. The idea that only the Texas and Hawaii flags, which are both former national flags (Texas being the Republic of Texas, and Hawaii being the Kingdom of Hawaii), may be flown at an equal height to the US flag is a legend.In fact, any other flag may be flown at an equal height to the US flag provided the US flag is at the leftmost staff from the perspective of the viewer.

The flag of the United States is used to drape the coffins of deceased veterans of the armed forces. When it is so used, the Union (white stars on blue background) is placed above the deceased's left shoulder.

According to United States Code found in Title 4, Chapter 1 pertaining to patriotic customs and observances:

§8(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed, preferably by burning.

These laws were supplemented by Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations.

Alternatives to burning are being investigated. Due to the nature of modern materials used in flags, namely nylon, toxic smoke is released when burned.


National flags cannot be adulterated on any way, nor be used with other intention than as national symbols as stated by law. It is also prohibited for buildings to raise flags other than national flags. The public loyalty oath to the flag must be taken once by every citizen and is celebrated on 19th June at learning institutes. Disposal of damaged flags is done by the Uruguayan Army. Each year on 24th September damaged flags are burnt as an official act.