How To Hang A Flag On A Wall: The Rules, Methods And Practice

Paul West/ Backyard Ornamental

If you want to display an American flag or any flag on a wall in your home or office, there are important guidelines and best practices to follow. Hanging a flag improperly can be seen as disrespectful, so it’s essential to learn the proper etiquette.

So, how to hang a flag on a wall?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know, from the flag code history to specific hanging methods.


Flags hold deep symbolism and national pride for many people. Hanging the American flag or other national flags in your home shows patriotism and respect for your country. But how exactly should you hang a flag on a wall? What are the rules and guidelines to follow?

The basics include displaying the flag horizontally or vertically with the union (stars) on the flag’s own right. You’ll also want to avoid letting it touch the ground or using it for commercial purposes. However, the official flag code and etiquette have much more specific instructions.

In this guide, we’ll explore the proper way to hang an American flag or any flag on a wall, both indoors and outdoors. We’ll cover:

  • Flag code history and flag etiquette
  • Positioning the flag correctly
  • Finding the right spot on your wall
  • Hanging methods for indoor vs. outdoor use
  • Flag pole brackets and other hardware
  • Adhesive and adhesive-free options
  • Securing heavy flags properly
  • Real-world examples and products

By the end, you’ll understand the guidelines and best practices so you can proudly display flags with respect.

U.S. Flag Code History and Etiquette

To hang any flag properly, it helps to understand flag etiquette and the U.S. flag code history. Here are some key facts:

When Was the U.S. Flag Code Created?

The U.S. flag code was first created in 1923 and officially adopted in 1942. It provides guidelines for displaying and respecting the American flag. The code has been amended over the years, but the fundamentals remain.

What Does the Flag Code Cover?

The flag code covers topics like proper display, respectful treatment, and restrictions on commercial or political use. For example, the code specifies not to fly the flag upside down unless in an emergency and not to use it on disposable items.

Is the Flag Code Legally Binding?

While nearly all states have adopted the federal flag code, it doesn’t carry any criminal or civil penalties. However, ignoring the code is still seen as disrespectful by many. The Supreme Court has also upheld the code in free speech cases.

Are There Penalties for Misusing the Flag?

The code itself doesn’t impose legal penalties. However, some states have laws against specific acts like burning or desecrating the American flag as a form of political protest. Punishments vary but may include fines or jail time.

Key Rules for Hanging the American Flag

Beyond the flag code’s creation and legal status, what are the key rules for properly displaying the stars and stripes? Here are some essential flag hanging guidelines:

  • Display the union (stars) on the flag’s own right – the observer’s left.

  • Hang the flag vertically with the union at the top and at the flag’s own right.

  • Or hang horizontally with the union at the top left.

  • Don’t let the flag touch the ground or other objects beneath it.

  • Don’t use the flag for commercial advertising or political campaigning.

  • Take care not to damage or pierce the flag with pins, nails, etc.

Now let’s explore finding the optimal spot to hang the American flag or any flag in your home or business.

Choosing the Best Place to Hang Your Flag

Where you display your flag carries significance, so put some thought into the location. Here are tips on finding the right spot:

Consider the Room and Decor

Make sure your flag complements your room’s aesthetics. If your decor has an elegant, formal style, hang the flag prominently on the main wall as a focal point. For a more rustic or earthy room, choose a subtle spot that blends with the overall vibe.

Avoid Disrespectful Areas

It’s best not to hang your flag in casual settings like recreation rooms or bathrooms. Also don’t display it where it might easily get soiled or damaged.

Follow Flag Etiquette Guidelines

Remember the key rules like not letting your flag touch the floor. Also keep it well-lit at night and take care not to pierce or damage the fabric.

Prioritize Visibility

Choose a prominent, highly visible place to hang your flag. This shows proper respect and allows you and others to appreciate its symbolic value. Just maintain symmetry with room decor.

Hanging a Flag Vertically vs. Horizontally

How you orient your flag – vertically or horizontally – depends on the wall space and location:

Hanging Vertically

  • Best for narrow wall space or to flank a window or door.
  • Hang with union at top right (flag’s own right).
  • Use a mounting bracket for stability.

Hanging Horizontally

  • Ideal for long, low walls like above couches or shelves.
  • Hang with union at upper left from observer’s view.
  • Allow flag to drape naturally – don’t stretch tightly.

Either approach is acceptable. Just be sure the stars are always at the top left from the viewer’s perspective. Now let’s look at specific methods for indoor vs. outdoor hanging.

Hanging a Flag Inside Your Home or Office

Displaying the flag indoors requires more care to protect the fabric and avoid damage. Here are some tips:

Use Adhesive Products

Adhesive hooks, clips, or strips work well indoors without piercing or harming the flag. Look for damage-free options like CommandTM strips.

Consider Thumbtacks or Pushpins

Thumbtacks and pushpins allow hanging without creating large holes. Place in inconspicuous spots like along the header or in the corner grommets.

Follow the Flag Code

Don’t pierce the stars or let the flag touch the floor. Keep it looking crisp and well-maintained. Replace when worn or damaged.

Allow the Flag to Drape Naturally

Don’t hang the flag completely flat and tight against a wall. Allow some natural drape for proper care and appearance.

Illuminate at Night

Make sure your flag stays well-lit overnight. Turn nearby lights on at dusk or use dedicated flag illumination.

Hanging a Flag Outside Your Home or Business

Outdoor flag display requires more durable materials and mounting methods:

Use a Flagpole for Optimal Display

A straight, vertical flagpole provides ideal outdoor display. Hang your flag using quality rope and pulleys.

Install a Flagpole Bracket on Walls

Bracket kits allow hanging from vertical surfaces without a full flagpole. Ensure it’s rated for the flag’s size and material.

Choose Durable Fasteners

Outdoor hanging requires more heavy-duty solutions like external-grade screws or bolts. Avoid adhesive-only products.

Consider a Flag Mounting Block

Blocks made of wood, metal, or plastic provide a stable base for hanging from eaves or railings with rope or hooks.

Follow Flag Etiquette Outdoors Too

Take the same care when displaying your flag outside. Don’t let it touch the ground and illuminate it properly at night. Replace when worn.

Securing Larger and Heavier Flags

Don’t let a large flag weigh down your display – proper mounting keeps it flying straight. Here are some heavy flag hanging tips:

Use a Flagpole for Large Outdoor Flags

A tall, sturdy flagpole is ideal for heavy outdoor flags. Look for metal or fiberglass models designed for your flag’s substantial size and weight.

Reinforce the Wall Behind Your Bracket

Improve stability by using multiple fasteners and extra blocking behind your flag bracket, especially on drywall.

Choose Heavy Duty Flag Brackets and Hardware

Opt for thick, rugged metal brackets rated well above your flag’s weight capacity for a reliable hanging point.

Add Grommets for Hanging Points

Extra grommets along the header give you more secure hanging points to better distribute a heavy flag’s weight.

Consider Metal Hanging Strips

Adhesive won’t reliably hold up a massive flag. Sturdy metal strips that screw into studs provide much more strength and stability.

Real-World Examples and Recommended Products

Seeing real-world flag display examples helps transform guidelines into reality. Here are some products people recommend:

Best Flagpole Bracket

The American Flagpole 100209 steel bracket kit earns top marks for durability, ease of installation, and versatility. Reviewers love its quality and strength.

Best Adhesive Hanging Strips

3M CommandTM DAMAGE-FREE Hanging strips provide reliable strength without putting holes in your walls or flag. People praise their durability and adhesive power.

Best Heavy Duty Screw-In Strips

For large outdoor flags, reviewers recommend Screw-In Metal Wall Strips. They’re rugged enough to hold massive flags securely in place.

Best Flag Mounting Block

This Briarwood Flag Mount Block in bronze metal has pre-drilled holes for hanging from rails or porches with hooks or rope. Users say it’s high quality and versatile.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I hang a flag on a wall?

To hang a flag on a wall, there are a few different methods you can choose from. One popular way is to use nails or thumbtacks. Simply decide whether you want to hang the flag vertically or horizontally, then attach the grommets or corners of the flag to the wall using the nails or thumbtacks.

Can I hang an American flag the same way?

Absolutely! Hanging an American flag on a wall follows the same basic process. Make sure to handle the flag with respect and adhere to the flag code. This means you should hang the flag vertically or horizontally with the union (the star field) in the top left corner, and ensure the flag doesn’t touch the ground or any other surface.

Are there any easy ways to hang a flag without using nails or thumbtacks?

Yes, if you prefer not to use nails or thumbtacks, there are alternative methods available. You can use adhesive strips or custom-made flag display products designed specifically for hanging flags on walls. These options provide a secure hold without damaging the wall surface.

How can I hang the flag vertically?

To hang the flag vertically, start by deciding which side of the flag you want to display. Insert a nail, thumbtack, or adhesive strip into the upper corner of the flag and attach it to the wall. Ensure the union is positioned in the top left corner while the stripes run vertically from top to bottom.

Can I hang the flag horizontally as well?

Definitely! If you prefer to hang the flag horizontally, use the same method as mentioned earlier. Insert a nail, thumbtack, or adhesive strip into the upper corner of the flag and attach it to the wall. This time, the union should be in the top left corner while the stripes run horizontally from left to right.

Further Reading

Paul West
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About Paul West

Longstanding and passionate about really having family fun in the backyard. I'm no expert but I've picked up a thing or two along the way!