Written by Brad Washabaugh

VBC Board Member and retired Marine Corps Colonel Brad Washabaugh recently a 30-question US flag etiquette trivia quiz that he crafted for his family gathering on Memorial Day. In honor of Flag Day, we post a version of the quiz here in three parts. Part 2 is below. Part 1 is easier. And Part 3 is for hardcore flag etiquette experts. Good luck!


#1. It’s fine to carry the US Flag horizontally, like you see in some NFL games.

#2. The US Flag or parts of it can be used as apparel, bedding, or drapery.

#3. It is proper to fly your US flag at half-staff for a fallen friend.

According to the Flag Code, only the President of the United States, your state’s Governor, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia can order the US flag lowered to half-staff.

#4. How should the US Flag be positioned on a casket?

#5. If a US Flag touches the ground and is dirtied, you must burn it.

While you shouldn’t allow the American flag to touch the ground, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you must burn or retire it if it does the touch the ground. Nowhere in the U.S. Flag Code does it say that the American flag must be burned or retired if it touches the ground.

#6. Only the current 50-star US flag should be flown out of respect for all the United States.

According to the American Flag Foundation it is perfectly okay to display a US Flag with 48 stars, or any other “official” Flag of the United States, during its progression to today.  It is preferable to fly the current Flag, but not disrespectful or out of code to fly any of our country’s official Flags.

#7. A signed or imprinted US Flag with a symbol, saying, insignia, design, picture, or drawing is permitted for patriotic purposes.

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.

#8. You may fly your company's flag on the same pole as a US flag, so long as the US flag remains at the top.

Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown. While state flags, POW/ MIA flags can be displayed on the same flagpole as the American flag, under no circumstance should a company flag be on the same flagpole as the American flag. This falls under advertising and flag code specifically states that the American flag should never be used for any advertising purpose.

#9. You can display other government flags (state, city, municipality, etc.) with the US Flag on the same staff.

When flags of states, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the flag of the United States should always be at the peak.

#10. On a motorcycle, two flags are flown, the US Flag and a POW/MIA flag. How should they be positioned?


Take Part 1 of the quiz.

Take Part 3 of the quiz.