By Alison Hodgson, Houzz

The day before my house burned down, I was thinking about flags. It was the end of June, and we were in the midst of painting our home’s exterior. The front and back and one side were finished, and I was closing in on the fourth. It looked so fresh and bright, and I couldn’t wait to fly a flag or two, or 20, for the upcoming Independence Day. I was debating what would look best, but the fire took care of all that.

We moved back into our new house almost a year to the day after the fire, yet again right before the Fourth of July. I was so exhausted that flags were the last thing on my mind, but one more year after that, I couldn’t wait. I’d always loved the look of flags, but now it was a way for me to make a tangible declaration that our family was home and “still there.”

After great deliberation I decided to hang a 3- by 6-foot pleated fan above our front porch and to line the walkway with 12- by 18-inch flags on sticks. I figured I needed about 10 but was able to find only eight. For the Fourth of July, I bought a few more to fill in the walkway and realized I had enough to go down one side of the drive, and then I bought a slew more to line both. We had our annual Fourth of July party, and the flags looked so beautiful and festive that I was sad to pack them away. I pulled them out for the election in November and planned to one last time do it for Veteran’s Day, but a friend asked if she could borrow them to welcome her son home from Afghanistan, and I was more than happy to share.

Whether you are hanging a flag to commemorate or to celebrate, here are few rules of flag etiquette and some style considerations.

 Ronald F. DiMauro Architects, Inc., original photo on Houzz

If you are lucky enough to have a flagpole, you might already know it’s not necessary to lower your flag every night as long as it is illuminated; however, the flag should be removed in inclement weather. There are a few days when it is recommended to fly the flag at half staff: May 15, which is Peace Officers Memorial Day; September 11; the Sunday of Fire Prevention Week (early October); and December 7, which is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. For Memorial Day it’s recommended the flag be flown at half staff from sunrise until noon. Other days are sometimes added as well; see the Half Staff American Flag Notifications website for updates.

A solitary flag on a porch post is a simple and classic look for any house.

Over the front door is a great alternative.

Priester’s Custom Contracting, LLC, original photo on Houzz

When displaying more than one flag, the U.S. flag should be flown to the observer’s left, as shown.

 Christian Gladu Design, original photo on Houzz

This display is perfect with the beautiful symmetry of this home’s architecture.

 cskelly, original photo on Houzz

If you choose to suspend a flag, whether horizontally or vertically, be sure the union (the starry part) is in the upper left, like this.

With fans and bunting, the issue is style rather than code.

The most important consideration is scale.

Becky Harris, original photo on Houzz

With the intricate trim on this porch, the message seems to be “more is more.” As I’m a flag maximalist, my preference would be to pump up the size of the flags on the pillars and line the entire balcony with fans.

Sara Bates, original photo on Houzz

I love everything here: the two flags displayed on the third story, the gorgeous hanging basket and window boxes, and the fencing covered with fans.

Don’t worry if red flowers aren’t your style. You don’t have to match your hanging baskets or planters with the flag; it goes with everything.

A simple and inexpensive way to start is with a few handheld flags stuck into planters, and that may be the perfect amount.

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