© St. Petersburg Times, published September 7, 2002
Sept. 11 has been designated by President Bush as Patriot Day, honoring those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on that date in 2001. The flag is to be flown that day at half staff from sunrise to sundown. The order designating Patriot Day asks citizens to observe a moment of silence and to participate in appropriate programs and activities.
To fly the flag at half staff, first hoist it to the peak for an instant, then lower it to the half-staff position, one-half the distance between top and bottom of the staff.
To lower a flag flown at half staff, raise it to the peak before it is lowered for the day.
The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
The half-staff provision applies only to outdoor, vertical flagpoles. If you have a short flagpole in a bracket attached to the exterior wall of your home, fly the flag as usual. The half-staff provision also does not apply to interior flags in an office or church or on a stage, says Rick Krampert of Beaver Flags in Largo.
If the flag is displayed against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag's union (the field of blue with stars) should be at the top, to the flag's own right and the observer's left.
The flag should not be used as a drapery or covering. Use red-white-and-blue bunting instead.
No mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure or drawing of any kind should be placed upon the flag.
The flag should never be festooned, drawn back or up in folds.
To salute, stand at attention. Those in uniform give a formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart. Men wearing hats should remove them and hold them to the left shoulder, hand over heart.
-- Source: U.S. Code