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Flag Lighting

To every patriotic American, the flag is especially important. If you are currently flying the flag, there are few rules you need to keep in mind. Most of us are remarkably familiar with certain matters such as the flag should never encounter the ground, or the flag being flown at half-staff during times of declared national mourning. The matter of lighting is also important and needs to be addressed. The general rule is that the flag should be flown from sunup to sundown, however many Americans, as well as businesses and official government offices, typically fly the flag 24 hours a day. Since the flag is constantly flying at full staff requires proper lighting. A sometimes-forgotten rule is if the flag is flown at night it always needs to be properly lit. Below are a few suggestions to help you avoid disrespecting the flag when its flown in darkness.

One of the most important things to remember is that you need adequately light the flag at night with the appropriate amount of illumination. For instance, if the light only travels halfway up the pole, leaving the flag in darkness, it would be perceived as unacceptable. Also, if the light does reach the flag, but leaves it shadowy instead of well-lit, this too can be perceived as disrespectful.

A general rule of thumb is to use more than one light fixture for a flagpole, using two would be the bare minimum, whereas three would be the ideal number. The best solution to get the right amount of illumination for flag lighting is to use a traditional triangle pattern. For example, you need to place the light fixtures in a triangle placement around the base of the flagpole, which ensures there will be adequate light from each angle. As a result, the flag will be completely illuminated from all sides regardless of which way the wind may blow it. When you start to place the lights, we recommend using in-ground fixtures if possible and place them about one half of the flag length away from the pole. If you are working with floodlights not placed in the ground, you will need to place them around pole length away due to their intensity.

The final matter that needs to be addressed with flag lighting is color temperature. The flag should be treated with respect and deserves to be noticed, so you should choose to light it with cooler temperatures on the white scale rather than warmer tones. Also with a cooler temperature, the better the color rendering, which will help pick up the colors of the American Flag rather than wash them out.


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