As we get closer to the Fourth of July, many truckers like to show their patriotic pride by displaying an American flag on their trucks — but it turns out that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.
While you are legally free to display a flag however you like, there is generally accepted “Flag Etiquette” endorsed by groups like the American Legion and the Military Salute Project that give you a better idea of how to fly your flag with the utmost respect. We’ve also included a few practical/safety tips for safe flag display on a vehicle.
Here are a few tips to help you fly a flag on your truck the right way.
- Federal flag code says that you should not drape a flag over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle. Instead, “when the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff should be firmly fixed to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.”
- In most cases, you’ll want to make sure that the flag is mounted on the right as the vehicle is moving forward, but it’s generally also considered acceptable to mount a U.S. flag on both sides of the vehicle if you’re displaying two flags.
- If you’re mounting a flag on the roof of a vehicle, it is acceptable to either mount the flag on center of the roof or on the passenger side of the vehicle. It is also acceptable to mount the U.S. flag in the center of a a row of odd-numbered flags on the roof of a vehicle as long as it is higher than the other flags.
- No other flag that you display on your truck should be in a higher position that the U.S. flag, according to flag code.
- Flag code also forbids ever displaying a flag in a manner in which it could easily get dirty or damaged: “The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.”
- Ensure that your flag does not in any way obscure your view or the view of other drivers — this is not only dangerous but also could be illegal.
- It’s a matter of good flag etiquette not allow the flag to touch the ground when you display it or move it.
- Make sure that your flag is secure and won’t come loose, wherever you choose to display it on your vehicle.
- When your flag becomes too grimy or damaged to continue to display, it’s important to retire the flag with honor. This is often done by burning. Some veterans groups also allow you to drop off flags to be “retired” in an official ceremony.
For more detailed information on vehicle flag display, you can click here.