There is nothing like the sight of colorful international flags lining both sides of big-city thoroughfare. It brings to mind the uniqueness and cultural diversity of each country in our global community, and inspires national pride among a nation of immigrants. International emblems are flown in many places throughout the United States, from embassies and historic sites to restaurants and private residences. Wherever there is recognition of another country’s role in our heritage, an international flag is proudly flown. However, there are certain “rules” that apply to flying these flags, and many people are unaware of them.
- Always fly international flags at the same height as your own country’s flag. Keep in mind that “height is everything” when it comes to flag-flying etiquette. If another country’s emblem is flown lower than yours, you are inadvertently making a statement about their relative importance.
- If you have only one flagpole, never display another nation beneath your own country. If there is only one pole and you want to fly another country’s flag then fly that masthead alone.
- When flying two international flags together, be sure the both countries are same size. Anything that might give the impression of more importance or dominance is not proper international protocol.
- When ordering international flags from a custom manufacturer, be sure to use the prescribed color tones of each country’s emblem. The best way to honor another country is by displaying properly and ensuring the colors are accurate.
- In a case where several international flags are being flown simultaneously, the proper way to display them, without showing favoritism, is alphabetically according to country name.
Flying international and domestic flags show patriotism and world unity as long as the proper procedures and customs are followed.