First in Flag Etiquette

Historically flags were flown from sunrise to sunset only. More recently it has become acceptable for them to be flown continuously, 24/7, given that the flag is satisfactorily illuminated during the hours of darkness.

Generally flags are only flown at half mast to observe solemn occasions at the bequest of the Head of State. Correct procedure obliges the flag to be raised to the top of the flag pole and then lowered, such that the middle of the flag is positioned in the middle of the flag pole.

International flags must always be treated with respect and in most countries, never allowed to touch the ground.

Flag cleanliness is not only important for visual considerations but also as a sign of respect.

International flags that have exceeded their useful life, should either be burnt or cut into sufficiently small pieces to render the portions unrecognisable and then disposed of discreetly.

The flag of the host country should always be raised first and lowered last, unless some special protocol consideration overrides this procedure.

In most countries the host country flag is positioned to afford maximum prominence, with other country's flags arranged to the right, generally but not necessarily, in alphabetic order.

No country flag should be flown higher than, or of a larger size than that of another country, when flown in the same immediate vicinity.

Corporate and organisational flags may be flown at the same height as a country flag.

It is not generally considered proper to fly more than one flag per flag pole.

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