Order of Precedence for Flag Display
The order of precedence for flags is 1) National, 2) State, 3) Military (in order of creation date), and 4) Other.
According to the Department of Defense Directive 1005.8, the prescribed precedence of military flags is determined by service birthdays. The appropriate order is given below:
Army Birthday –14 June 1775
Marine Corps Birthday – 10 November 1775
Navy Birthday – 13 Oct 1775-Abolished Feb 1781-Reinstated 7 Sep 1781
Air Force Birthday – 18 September 1947
*Coast Guard Birthday – 4 August 1790
*According to the Institute of Heraldry, and in keeping with the order in which troops are listed in Department of Defense Directive 1005.8, during peacetime the Coast Guard falls under the Department of Homeland Security. During wartime, if the Coast Guard comes under the control of the Department of Defense, then the Coast Guard flag would come before the Air Force flag in order of precedence.
The Merchant Marine, Vietnam Veterans, and POW/MIA flags can be displayed following the military flags. There is some latitude in the order of display regarding these three flags. Our government has not officially recognized the Merchant Marines as being a branch of the military (its members are often not given veteran’s status), but we feel it is appropriate to honor them as a military branch and thus have placed their flag at the end of the military branches.
The Vietnam Veterans and POW/MIA flags could be reversed in their order if so desired. We felt it appropriate to place the flag for the living veterans (who are here to see the honor so accorded them) before the flag for those not presently in our midst. You can use your discretion here.
In a Parade or Procession with Other Flags
The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag, or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag’s own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.
It is recommended to fly only one 3X5 flag on a motorcycle so as to not disrespect any other flags in the procession. It is also a safety concern. Following is the order in which the flags are flown:
- United States Flag
- Kansas Flag
- Army Flag
- Marine Flag
- Navy Flag
- Air Force Flag
- Coast Guard Flag
- POW/MIA flag
- Veterans Organization Flags
- Any Service Unit flags
- All other flags