The Daily Flag has used these photographs before. The one on the left was taken at my neighborhood elementary school over a long holiday break. The school corrected the problem of flying the Texas flag upside-down (with a tip from Flags Bay in person) but the school is still flying the flags with a big gap in-between the two flags. The flag photo on the right (taken at the JSC Federal Credit Union building in Houston, TX) is a good example of proper flag spacing.
The error in the school photo is one I am seeing at many public schools, not only in my area but nation-wide. There must be some kind of information that is spreading through school systems that says the flags must not touch each other, and I did find a vague reference to this idea in a blog post that I came across while searching for information on this fad (I don’t know what to call it).
I think the problem is incomplete information regarding the spacing of flags and having them “not touch.” Obviously if there are two flags poles erected near each other, which is frequently the configuration, then the poles should be far enough apart from each other so that the flags do not touch each other when flying straight out from the pole.
But “flying the flags so they don’t touch” is a reference to spacing the flags’ hoist sides on the halyard so that they “don’t touch.” I found a very old reference that said “the flags should be spaced apart about the width of a man’s fist.” At a flag reference site for the U.S. Army, it said the flags should be spaced about 6 inches apart along the hoist sides.
Except for professional basketball players, I can’t imagine the average man having a fist that is six inches across, but the idea of flying two or more flags six inches apart on the same halyard is a good rule of thumb … er, fist. Maybe a fist with the thumb extended straight out.