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Celebrate Flag Day With 3 Fun Legal Facts

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on June 14, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Like the Rodney Dangerfield of holidays, Flag Day seems to get no respect.

But since being declared a holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, Flag Day has been a day to commemorate to adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the then-13 states that comprised the United States of America in 1777.

To help celebrate Flag Day, here are three pretty cool facts about Old Glory:

  1. There is a right and wrong way to display the flag. There's an entire section of the U.S. Code devoted to rules about the flag. Among those are quite a few about the proper way to display the flag. There are ones that most people seem to know, such as the rule that flags should never be flown at night unless they're illuminated and shouldn't be flown during inclement weather unless specifically made to be weatherproof. There are also a few rules that you may not know. Those American flag pants that people like to bust out every Fourth of July? The flag code says that those and any other kind of American flag apparel are a no-go.
  2. When should the flag be displayed at half-staff? Although you may have seen flags flown at half-staff at the behest of local officials or other authorities, according to The American Legion, the flag can only officially be flown at half-staff by order of the President of the United States or a state governor.
  3. The stripes have meaning too. Everyone probably knows that the 50 stars on the current flag represent the 50 states of the union, with Hawaii being the last star added on July 4, 1960 (the state joined the union in 1959, but the Flag Code specifies that new stars be added to the flag on the next Fourth of July). However, what you may not realize is that the stripes on the flag have a significance as well: The 13 horizontal stripes represent the 13 original colonies represented on the very first flag.

If these fun facts weren't enough for you, here are a few more bits of Flag Day trivia that we unfurled last year. Happy Flag Day, everyone!

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