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When To Use Flags

Air Force Protocol
from 'Til Wheels are Up'

WHEN TO USE FLAGS

Tradition calls for flags to be displayed at all indoor and outdoor military ceremonies. At indoor ceremonies flags may be prepositioned, or posted at the beginning of the ceremony by an honor guard. At outdoors ceremonies, flags may be prepositioned, posted, or "trooped" if military formations pass in review, as in the case of a parade.

Flag displays can consist of as little as one (the U.S. flag) to several. It is customary to display the colors of the host or the hosting organization. At the installation level, the flag displays will normally include the U.S. flag, the Service flag, the major command flag, the center or school flag (if applicable), and the commander's personal flag, if a general or flag officer. Flag displays at our headquarters can get particularly complicated since one person is the commander of three commands. For example, our displays frequently include: the U.S. flag, the Canadian flag, the Air Force flag, the North American Aerospace Defense Command flag, the U.S. Space Command flag, the Air Force Space Command Flag, and the four-star flag. It's a good rule of thumb to keep the display as small and simple as possible--the fewer the flags, the less chance for error.



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