Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Flag protocol

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The Brazilian flag being changed in a monthly ceremony that takes place in the Praça dos Três Poderes, Brasília.

Flag protocol defines the proper placement, handling and use of flags. Some countries have added certain protocols into their law system while others prefer to have "guidelines" without civil or criminal consequences attached.

General guidelines

General guidelines are accepted practically universally.

Much of the flag protocol is derived from common sense. That is, using it as a table cover or wrapping paper are inappropriate uses. It should be treated with respect. Many countries consider signing a flag disrespectful, adding a border would be more appropriate. Pinning or sewing items to a flag would also be ill advised.

On a mast or pole

The flag of honor, that is the nation's flag in most cases, is flown on the center mast if possible. It is also correct to fly the flag on its own right. To an observer it would be on the far left. If more than three flags are used, the proper position is as far left from the point of view of an observer. An additional flag may be placed on the right side, but is not necessary.

When two poles are crossed, the position of honor is the flag that ends on the left side from the point of view of an observer (the pole will therefore end on the right).

In a semicircle, the position of honor is the center. If a full circle is used outside an entrance to an arena or stadium, the position of honor is directly opposite the entrance. If used to line the walls of the arena, the flag should be placed directly opposite the entrance.

Hanging

When flown horizontally, as from a flag pole, the flag should be oriented so that the canton is closest to the top of the pole. If hung against a wall, the canton should be placed in the upper-left corner from the point of view of the observer.

When hung vertically, flags should be rotated so the canton is again closest to the top of the pole. If the flag is displayed against a wall, the canton should again appear in the upper-left corner, which incidentally requires that the flag be both rotated and 'flipped' from its horizontal orientation.

Other places

On a vehicle the flag should be affixed securely to the front right of the chassis.

When placed with a podium or at a place of worship the flag should be hang directly behind or on a pole to the right of the speaker, from the point of view of the audience.

When carried in single file the flag of honor leads.

Multiple flags

When flags of many nations are flown the flag of the hosting country should be placed on the left with the rest following in alphabetical order using the language of the host country.