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Three flag dilemma: What’s the right way to fly?

Deborah and I made a trip into Austin, Texas this week, and as is our custom, we avidly watched for flag displays along the route of the 70-mile trip. Out of the hundreds of displays we saw, most were absolutely correct. But I do have two ideas to write about, prompted by a particular and common arrangement I see. We didn’t have time to take photographs, but I have included graphics showing how the flags are arranged.

US and TX flagsThis three pole display consists of the taller center flagpole and two adjacent shorter flagpoles of equal height, shown in figure 1. The company has the U.S. flag correctly flying from the taller center flagpole, with Texas flags on both of the shorter poles.

I have to admit, the display is quite eye-catching, with all the red, white and blue flashing in the wind, but is it correct? 

The Texas Flag Code contains similar language to the U.S. Flag Code, except when conceding honor to the U.S. flag. Like the U.S. flag, the Texas flag flies to its own right, except when the U.S. flag is present. Normally, a flagpole configuration like this one, is adorned with the U.S. flag, Texas flag, and a company flag (of which we saw many on the trip), but this company raised a second Texas flag, displaying the second Texas flag to the left of the first Texas flag. That brought up all kinds of questions in my mind, not only about this display, but others I have seen in the past. By strict interpretation, the second Texas flag can’t be flown at this position.

LineofUSflagsIf that’s true, then what about displays with a lot of U.S. flags flying on flagpoles. Are all subsequent flags flying to the left of the initial U. S. flag in violation of the U.S. Flag Code?

This photograph from Flickr shows a long line of American flags displayed across a grassy area. This type of display is common and can be breath-taking when the wind is just enough to fly the flags.

The question arises with compliance to the Flag Code.

Here are several references in the U.S. Flag Code to the flag positions, which are.

(c) No other flag or pennant should be placed … to the right of the flag of the United States of America,

(f) No such flag or pennant may be placed … to the United States flag’s right.

The question becomes … does the Flag Code actually prohibit displays like the photo?

One thought on “Three flag dilemma: What’s the right way to fly?

  1. […] the article Three flag dilemma: What’s the right way to fly?, I discussed one of the flag displays I saw recently. This article is about another display from […]

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