How to fly a flag at half staff on a house with a mourning ribbon


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I’m sure you’ve seen flags flying on big flag poles at half-staff, but how do you modify that for flags hanging outside your home or on your porch? Watch the video or read on below to learn how to fly a flag at half staff at home using a mourning ribbon.

Flying a flag at half-staff, or half-mast, is a way to show respect or mourning. It’s used after a government official passes away and on other national observances like Memorial Day (last Monday in May) or Patriot Day (September 11th).

But see, the problem is, there really isn’t a way to fly a flag hanging off your front porch at half staff.

The solution is a mourning ribbon.

It’s a strip of black nylon with a grommet on one end. You attach it to the end of your flag pole and let it drape against the flag. Here’s one I found on Amazon that’s made in the USA.

mourning ribbon for flag at half staff on a house

Some people prefer to tie it in a bow on the end of the pole but, personally, that looks a little too festive to me.

It’s definitely still an acceptable way to display your ribbon, but I prefer the more solemn look of the single black streamer.

mourning ribbon for flag at half staff on house tied in bow

And remember, for Memorial Day, you only fly the flag at half-staff, or in this case, with the black ribbon until 12 noon. At that point, you raise the flag or remove the ribbon for the rest of the day. This tradition honors those service men and women who’ve died for the first half the day and also honors living veterans the rest of the day.

I hope this helps and gives your family a way to participate in the half-staff tradition of flag etiquette even if you don’t have a flag pole.

If you’d like to learn more, I have a longer, more in-depth flag etiquette lesson that you might enjoy. You can get access to that video lesson here.

Flag etiquette is one of my favorite topics to teach. Showing respect to the flag is pretty easy to do but what it represents is just so much bigger than most of us understand.

Thanks for reading and may God bless America.



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