10 rules for American flag etiquette on fire apparatus

Flag code requests we fly flags for two upcoming dates, here are guidelines to follow


Martin Luther King Jr. day and Inauguration day, according to flag code, are especially significant days to display an American flag. If your department plans to display a flag on your trucks for these upcoming dates, it’s important to refresh your memory on flag etiquette specific to vehicles.

Here are ten rules to follow when displaying the American flag on fire apparatus.

1. Only one flag is authorized to fly on a fire truck.

2. The American flag should never be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle. 

The American flag should be displayed every day, but especially on days like the inauguration and Martin Luther King Jr. day.
The American flag should be displayed every day, but especially on days like the inauguration and Martin Luther King Jr. day.

3. When the flag is displayed on a vehicle, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.

4. Displaying a torn or tattered flag is not permitted.

5. The flag may only be displayed at night if it’s illuminated by light.

6. If the flag is flying in a parade with other flags, ensure the flag is positioned to marchers’ right.

7. If a flag is displayed on a float in a parade, it must be displayed by a staff.

8. The flag should not be subject to harsh weather conditions so, unless you have an all-weather flag, it’s improper to display your flag during rain, snow and wind storms. 

9. The flag should not be placed with something attached to it and it should not be touching the ground.

10. If a flag is hung between two aerial rigs, 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. 

Keep these points in mind to ensure our nation’s flag, a living symbol, is never disrespected and always displayed properly. 

If you plan to display an American flag somewhere besides on your vehicle, here is a comprehensive list of the flag code regulations.  

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