flagetiquette

How to Display the American Flag on Motorcycles and Cars

Memorial Day is right around the corner, which means it’s almost time to proudly wave those American flags. From front lawns to car doors, Americans are getting in the spirit wherever they go. There’s no better way to celebrate the holiday of remembrance than by joining in on a parade in your neighborhood or city. But don’t worry! You don’t need a float to join in on the festivities. Patriots are decorating everything from pickups, hatchbacks, and SUV’s to motorcycles!

However, there are few things you should know about decorating your motor vehicle of choice before you go all out. First, before you show off your pride and joy, be sure you invest in affordable auto insurance. ABC Insurance Agencies can direct you to right coverage for you and your vehicle. Second, make sure that your decorations are safely displayed. And third, be sure to be respectful.

In addition to the laws requiring auto insurance, there are laws that regulate the proper handling and display of the American flag on non-military vehicles. Here are a few tips to help you brush up on your flag etiquette before the holiday so you can display the stars and stripes on your motorcycle or car respectfully.

Service Flag Rules


Military service flags should be lined up in the following order1 , always lower than the U.S. flag:

  1. U.S. Army
  2. U.S. Marine Corps
  3. U.S. Navy
  4. U.S. Air Force
  5. U.S. Coast Guard
  6. U.S. Merchant Marine
  7. U.S. Army National Guard
  8. U.S. Army Reserve
  9. U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  10. U.S. Naval Reserve
  11. U.S. Air National Guard
  12. U.S. Air Force Reserve
  13. U.S. Coast Guard Reserve

Displaying the American Flag on a Motorcycle

Let it Fly!

  • Mount a single flag standing straight up either a) on the center of the rear fender or b) on the driver’s right side.
  • If two or more flags are angled, always angle them out to the same degree.
  • Mount two flags on a rear fender leaning out at the same angle, with the cloths parallel to each other facing to the rear of the motorcycle.

Not so fast – Don’t

  • Mount a single U.S. Flag on the driver’s left side.
  • Fly a motorcycle mounted U.S. flag at half-staff. (Otherwise proper etiquette for Memorial Day is to fly the flag at half-staff from sunrise until noon.)2
  • Fly any other flag higher than the American flag.
  • Fly any other flag larger than the American flag. (Flags of equal size are acceptable.)

Displaying the American Flag on a Car

Let it Fly!

  • Mount a single U.S. flag either a) on the center of the roof, or b) on the passenger side.
  • Adjust flags in the post holes of the bed of a pickup truck so they are the same size and height. The U.S. Flag should be positioned on the passenger side and should be the same size or larger than any other flag displayed (if displaying 2 U.S. Flags, they should be equal size).
  • Always fly the U.S. flag in the center of a row of other flags and it should be higher than the others.
  • Attach the flagstaff firmly to the chassis or right fender.

Not so fast – Don’t

  • Fly a car mounted U.S. flag at half-staff.
  • Fly any other flag higher than the American flag.
  • Fly any other flag larger than the American flag. (Flags of equal size are acceptable.)

How are you showing your American pride this Memorial Day? Leave a comment for us on our ABC Auto Insurance Facebook or Twitter pages!

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1Department of Defense Directive 1005.8
2Public Law 94-344

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