Written by Brad Washabaugh

VBC Board Member and retired Marine Corps Colonel Brad Washabaugh recently sent us 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 3 is below. Part 2 is easier. And Part 1 is for beginners. Good luck!


#1. What are the penalties for the physical desecration of the US Flag?

The Supreme Court has found laws banning desecration of the American flag to be unconstitutional. The court ruled that it falls under the First Amendment protection of free speech in the Constitution.

#2. What is wrong in this photo of a member of the Navy’s parachute team, the Leap Frogs, participating in a jump during the season opening ceremony for the professional rugby team, the San Diego Legion at Snapdragon Stadium, San Diego?

Select all that apply:

#3. What is wrong in this photo of a football field-sized flag unfurled during halftime at the Army vs Michigan game in Ann Arbor Sept. 7, 2019?

Select all that apply:

#4. What statement is correct about displaying the US Flag over the middle of a street?

#5. Can the US flag be washed and dry-cleaned?

#6. Napkins, plates, tablecloths with images of the US Flag imprinted on them are okay to use on the 4th of July and other patriotic events.

According to the flag code, “The flag should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.”


#7. US Flag representations on articles of clothing are considered flags and should be handled as such.

True and False: According to the Flag Code, a flag is anything “by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag.”

However, the American Legion has a different interpretation—”Unless an article of clothing is made from an actual United States flag, there is NO breach of flag etiquette whatsoever. People are simply expressing their patriotism and love of the country by wearing an article of clothing that happens to be red, white, and blue with stars and stripes.

#8. A US Flag patch may be sewn on the right sleeve of a baseball jersey or other leisure wear.

No, according to the flag code “no part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.”

#9. What is the proper way to wear a US Flag patch on one's shoulder sleeve?

#10. No flag or pennant may ever be flown above the US flag.

According to the Flag Code, “No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag except during church services conducted by United States Navy chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the United States Navy.”

#11. BONUS QUESTION: What is true about fringe on a US Flag?


Take Part 1 of the quiz.

Take Part 2 of the quiz.