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Old 07-02-2014, 01:26 PM   #1
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Flag etiquette - US flag and foreign flag

On a recent trip to Arizona I got in a discussion with a retired military guy about flag etiquette. He told me that he had advised the manager of the RV park that he shouldn't fly the Mexican flag (on a separate flagpole) at the same height as the US flag. He went so far as to make the manager lower the Mexican flag about one foot or two below the height of the US flag. If my memory serves me right, when enterring the RV park the US flag was to the left of the Mexican flag which I think is correct. When I told him that proper etiquette was to have both the US and foreign flags at the same height and to have the Mexican flag lower than the US flag was to show disrespect to Mexico and their flag. He promptly told me that he had been in the service for 37 years and that his way was the correct way to display the US flag and a foreign flag. He stated that military regulations is what he was following. Perhaps the reg's are different on military bases than on private property but i doubt it.

I later did more research and found a US publication (suffer from CRS and can't remember chapter and verse) that indicated that flying the two (or more) flags at the same height on separate flagpoles was the proper way. Also the VFW and American Legion supported the equal height standard.

I think that he is blowing smoke rings and used his service time and rank (06 - Full bird Colonel or Captain depending on service branch) to intimidate the RV park manager to lower the Mexican flag. After all anyone showing that he is a retired 06 on his VANITY license plate is a little bit braggish. He has the right to show that he served but to list his rank on his license plate is overkill! I certainly wouldn't want to be in his command. Perhaps he is a little P/O'd that he didn't get his star!

Does anyone have comments on the equal height of US and foreign flag?

Lee
former Spec 4 Army National Guard - 1957 - 1963
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:35 PM   #2
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Not for certain as to who is correct, but I always thought the US flag out ranked (no pun intended) the others. I'm a retired MSGT E-8, I indicate that I'm retired army on my vehicle but I don't show my retired rank.
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:37 PM   #3
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http://www.legion.org/flag/code
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:40 PM   #4
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As a retired O6, I'll just offer that the flags flown at NATO HQ are all at the same level...I'd think they'd have a tough time putting one flag above another.

Having worked with the State Department a good chunk of my career, I'd think that they would say "keep 'em equal" too. Here's a quote from the "Flag Code":

"When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation in time of peace."

See: US Flag Code

Hope that helps...
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:42 PM   #5
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Everyone can fly whatever flag they wish, but I would not stay at a place that flew a foreign flag at the same (or higher) level as an American flag, or only a foreign flag.

But then I also get a real case of the red*ss with such terms as African-American, Mexican-American, Polish-American, xxx-American. If you were born here you are just American.
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:44 PM   #6
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From the VFW
Quote:
Grouped
U.S. flag goes to its own right. Flags of other nations are flown at same height.
There are blowhards in any group so even though I would feel like screaming at him I think somehow showing him the facts by either printing out the rules from a reputable source or holding up your notebook or table in his face, preferably with an audience, would be better.

BTW I was never in the service but have the utmost respect and thanks for our Vets.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:18 PM   #7
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wow, quick responses

Thanks to those of you who responded so quick.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:42 PM   #8
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As it happened I downloaded the "Flag Code" just this morning.

Same height, but to the flag's LEFT.

This is from Section 7 of the flag code...
Quote:
Originally Posted by John R. Luckey,Legislative Attorney

(g) When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.
So there you are.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:47 PM   #9
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If I remember correctly from my Scouting days, when the American flag and another flag are flown on two identical poles side by side, the American flag should be on it's own right. If you're standing facing the two, the U.S. flag would be on the left. I could be wrong, but that's the way I remember it!
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Old 07-02-2014, 04:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballard770 View Post
On a recent trip to Arizona I got in a discussion with a retired military guy about flag etiquette. He told me that he had advised the manager of the RV park that he shouldn't fly the Mexican flag (on a separate flagpole) at the same height as the US flag. He went so far as to make the manager lower the Mexican flag about one foot or two below the height of the US flag. If my memory serves me right, when enterring the RV park the US flag was to the left of the Mexican flag which I think is correct. When I told him that proper etiquette was to have both the US and foreign flags at the same height and to have the Mexican flag lower than the US flag was to show disrespect to Mexico and their flag. He promptly told me that he had been in the service for 37 years and that his way was the correct way to display the US flag and a foreign flag. He stated that military regulations is what he was following. Perhaps the reg's are different on military bases than on private property but i doubt it.

I later did more research and found a US publication (suffer from CRS and can't remember chapter and verse) that indicated that flying the two (or more) flags at the same height on separate flagpoles was the proper way. Also the VFW and American Legion supported the equal height standard.

I think that he is blowing smoke rings and used his service time and rank (06 - Full bird Colonel or Captain depending on service branch) to intimidate the RV park manager to lower the Mexican flag. After all anyone showing that he is a retired 06 on his VANITY license plate is a little bit braggish. He has the right to show that he served but to list his rank on his license plate is overkill! I certainly wouldn't want to be in his command. Perhaps he is a little P/O'd that he didn't get his star!

Does anyone have comments on the equal height of US and foreign flag?

Lee
former Spec 4 Army National Guard - 1957 - 1963

I don't know about the flag issue, but i do know that a 6 year guardsman is hardly in a position to judge a 37 year vet about what is or is not braggish. i do know that 99% make Spec 4 and less than 1% make COL. He has earned the right. How many months did you spend deployed at war? IF you had ever spend one day you would have never brought up this rank business. I made Corporal in less than 90 days. It is easy in war...


The flag issue is childish.

This is America and only one flag should fly...period.

If you come to America, speak American, salute old glory or GET OUT because that is what Americans do.

Lee, they call it getting a life. You're old enough to have one.

Cheers...

Leo
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by thrushl View Post
If you come to America, speak American
Now this I take offense to ....
American? Which American Indian dialect / language did you want to make the "official" one? What most of us speak in this country is a conglomeration of just about every other language in the world. Research it.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:11 PM   #12
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Let's all calm down . Personal comments / attacks are not allowed here. Discuss the topic and not each other.
Thanks, Cliff
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:34 PM   #13
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I stayed at a park in Mesa AZ that had a Canadian Flag and was told during winter about 50% of residents are from Canada. In a perfect world I believe our flag should be the only one flown except at public buildings that has officials from that country there and at official ceremonies. On the subject of displaying rank, I received a gift license bracket that says Senior Chief Retired. I earned the title and am proud to display it. If you earned it, in my opinion, it is not bragging.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:46 PM   #14
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The flag display guidelines are intended to show respect. You should respect the right to display national flags following the rules. That is what the servicemen fought for in numerous conflicts along with the servicemen from many other countries.
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