Alan wrote to ask, “Is it appropriate to display a local county sheriff’s dept. flag beneath the American flag? And, would it be appropriate to display the American flag and the county sheriffs dept. flag without displaying the state’s flag. Thank you for your time.”
Alan—thank you for writing. Yes, it’s ok—to both questions. But it would be preferable to include the state flag too, since the county is a unit of the state (just as the state is a unit of the country).
In a follow up question, Alan asked, “Could you direct me to a common law or rule that I could reference to, that would support your comments of “YES” being okay to display the flags this way in case I am questioned by anyone?”
Alan, the answer is found in the U.S. Code, in Title 4—the section we commonly call The county sheriff’s department flag represents a “locality” and is the law enforcement branch of the county (and a part of the state, too). There is no problem flying it on the same halyard, and below the U.S. flag. Best wishes, Deborah
Title 4 – FLAG AND SEAL, SEAT OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE STATES
CHAPTER 1 – THE FLAG
§7. Position and manner of display
(f) When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the United States flag’s right.