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Standard Size For American Flag: Dimensions & Uses

Hoisting the American flag in your home or outside your organization can be a great way to show your patriotism and love for your country. Homes with the US flag hoisted on their patio or entryways are a common sight, especially if a family member is on active duty.

Whether you want to honor your homeland, the people who sacrificed their lives for it, or those who are currently serving it, knowing the standard size for the American flag is imperative. Read on to learn about the appropriate US flag sizes so you do not unknowingly disrespect this iconic symbol of freedom.

What Flag Size To Use For Residential Or Commercial Flagpoles

American flags come in different sizes and dimensions. And you need to choose specific flag sizes depending on where you plan to place them. Most Americans place the US flag on their front porch, by the wall, or even smaller ones in the car, and for all these places, there is an appropriate flag size to use.

Here is an overview of the different flag sizes and where they can be displayed or used:

Flags for Homes and Buildings

Flags for Homes

Image source: Pinterest

The flag dimension is dependent and directly proportional to the pole’s height on which you will place it.

#1. 3 feet by 5 feet American flag

This is the standard size of the US flag that you can fly outside a residential area. The pole height requirement for this flag size is 20 feet.

#2. 4 feet by 6 feet American flag

This is the size used for flags that are generally displayed in public areas. You need to have a pole that has a height of 25 feet for this size.

#3. 5 feet by 8 feet American flag

This size of flag is typically used in public display for more significant properties or establishments. It would need a pole that’s 30 feet in height.

#4. 6 feet by 10 feet American flag

Another size option for public use, this flag is usually used in bigger establishments and institutions. It is proportional to a 40-foot pole.

#5. 20 feet by 38 feet and beyond

Flags of such a massive size are commonly used in official government buildings and US embassies. They need a pole that is 125 feet high.

For easy reference, here’s a chart showing the approved pole height and flag size ratio:

Height of the Flagpole American Flag Size
6 feet 3 feet by 5 feet
20 feet 3 feet by 5 feet up to 4 feet by 6 feet
25 feet 4 feet by 6 feet
30 feet 5 feet by 8 feet
35 feet 6 feet by 10 feet
40 feet 8 feet by 12 feet
45 feet 8 feet by 12 feet
50 feet 10 feet by 15 feet
60 feet 12 feet by 18 feet
75 feet to 100 feet 15 feet by 25 feet
105 feet to 120 feet 20 feet by 30 feet
125 feet to 150 feet 20 feet by 38 feet
155 feet to 200 feet 30 feet by 50 feet
200 feet and above 30 feet by 60 feet

Aside from getting the right size, you also need to follow certain guidelines when displaying the flag in your home, especially if you don’t have a pole. For example, when placing the flag by the door, it should be to your left when you face it.

Additionally, when you set your flag to hang vertically from your wall, the union should always be on the onlooker’s upper left side. It’s also crucial to make sure that the flag never drags or touches the ground.

Flags for Boats

Flags for Boats

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Similar to flags displayed on poles, the appropriate size of the US flag for boats depends on the actual boat from which the flag will be flown. Here are examples of flag sizes based on the size of the sailboat or motorboat.

#1. 8 inches by 12 inches American flag

This flag size is most suitable if the boat is under 20 feet long.

#2. 10 inches by 15 inches American flag

This flag is best for boats that measure 20 feet to 29 feet.

#3. 12 inches by 18 inches American flag

A flag of this size is recommended for boats at least 30 feet to 39 feet.

#4. 14 inches by 21 inches American flag

A larger flag like this can be used in vessels that measure at least 40 feet to 49 feet.

#5. 16 inches by 24 inches American flag

American flags that measure this size are best suited for motorboats and sailboats at least 50 feet to 59 feet.

#6. 20 inches by 30 inches American flag

If your boat is 60 feet up to 69 feet, this is the size of the American flag you need to display.

In summary, here’s the boat length and American flag size ratio:

Length of the Boat American Flag Size
Under 20 feet 8 inches by 12 inches
20 feet to 29 feet 10 inches by 15 inches
30 feet to 39 feet 12 inches by 18 inches
40 feet to 49 feet 14 inches by 21 inches
50 feet to 59 feet 16 inches by 24 inches
60 feet up to 69 feet 20 inches by 30 inches

Unless told otherwise, it is highly recommended to display the flag at the boat’s stern. It is always wise to conduct your own research concerning the rules of displaying a flag, especially if you are venturing outside the US waters.

Flags for Trucks and Cars

Flags for Trucks

Image source: Pinterest

The standard dimension of the US flag used in cars and trucks is 11.5 inches by 18 inches. And it should be placed correctly, with the flag’s stars always set in the upper left corner when you are on the driver’s side and in the upper right when you are on the passenger’s side. This placement ensures that the union is displayed in a place of honor.

If you are not using a car window flag, the flag staff should be securely attached to your car or truck’s right front fender.

Diane McGee

Diane enjoys cooking, reading, and writing at her desk. She loves to let her words captivate the world and writes regularly for online publications. Diane also enjoys teaching kids during her free time.

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