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Facility Management / Safety

Responsible Office:

Policy Title:
Display of the Flag

Document Number:

Effective Date:
July 12, 2021

This policy item applies to:
State-Operated Campuses
Table of Contents

Other Related Information


The State University of New York shall display the flag of the United States of America (“U.S. flag”) as set forth below and shall permit the following flags to be displayed on University facilities and flagstaffs in conjunction with the U.S. flag: the New York State flag, the United Nations flag, the Red Cross flag, the National League of Families POW/MIA flag, and a unique campus flag or banner.


I. Display of the Flag of the United States of America 


  1. General 

    The flag shall be displayed only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs. However, the flag may be displayed at night upon special occasions when it is desired to produce a patriotic effect. 

  2. Manner 
    1. The flag shall be displayed daily, weather permitting, on or near the main administration building of every public institution, whenever such institution is open to the public. The flag shall also be displayed, weather permitting, on the following days in each year: the first day of January, known as New Year's Day; the third Monday of January, known as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; the twelfth day of February, known as Lincoln's Birthday; the third Monday in February, known as Washington's Birthday; the last Monday in May, known as Memorial Day; the second Sunday of June, known as Flag Day; the fourth day of July, known as Independence Day; the first Monday in September, known as Labor Day; the third Friday in September, known as National POW/MIA Recognition Day, except if such date of commemoration cannot be observed due to a religious holiday, such observances shall then be conducted on the second Friday in September; September eleventh, known as Patriot Day or September 11th Remembrance Day; the second Monday in October, known as Columbus Day; the eleventh day of November, known as Veterans Day; the fourth Thursday in November, known as Thanksgiving Day; the seventh day of December, known as Pearl Harbor Day; and the twenty-fifth day of December, known as Christmas Day, and if any of the aforementioned days except Flag Day falls on a Sunday, the next day thereafter; each general election day; and each day appointed by the President of the United States or by the Governor of the State of New York as a day of general thanksgiving or for displaying the flag. 
    2. The flag shall not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement except when an all-weather flag is displayed. 
    3. The flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. 
    4. The flag shall be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.
    5. The flag shall be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
    6. When a number of flags of states or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs, the flag of the United States of America shall be at the center and at the highest point of the group. 
    7. The flag, when flown at half-staff, shall be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag shall be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. "Half-staff" means lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. Crepe streamers shall not be affixed to spear heads or flagstaffs except by order of the President of the United States or the Governor of the State of New York. 
    8. The flag shall not be displayed with the union down except as a signal of dire and immediate distress. 
    9. The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display shall be destroyed in a dignified way by burning. 
    10. The flag shall be flown at full staff at all times except it shall be flown at half-staff on Memorial Day until noon and at the top of the staff for the rest of the day; Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15, unless that day also falls on Armed Services Day; Patriot Day or September 11th Remembrance Day on September 11; the seventh day of December, known as Pearl Harbor Day; and to commemorate the death of a personage of national or state standing or of a local serviceman, official or public servant who, in the opinion of the local agency concerned, contributed to the community. It may also be flown at half-staff during special periods of mourning designated by the President of the United States or the Governor of the State of New York. 
    11. The National League of Families POW/MIA flag is flown on Memorial Day, POW Remembrance Day (third Friday of September), and Veterans Day. The flag should be displayed beneath the national flag if there is no third staff available. 
  3. Notification of Special Periods of Mourning

    The office of State University Police will be responsible for notifying campuses of days the Governor designates as special periods of mourning during which the U.S. flag is to be flown at half-staff, and of other special instructions concerning the display of the flag. 

II. Other Flags 

The following flags are the only flags that may be flown on facilities and flagstaffs adjacent to, 
or in conjunction with, the U.S. flag: 


There are no definitions relevant to this policy.

Other Related Information

There is no related information relevant to this policy.


There are no procedures relevant to this policy.


There are no forms relevant to this policy.


In case of questions, readers are advised to visit the Laws of New York and/or United States Code.

NYS Executive Law: Article 19 (§§400 - 409) Display and Use of the Flag of the United States of America in Parks and on Public Buildings

United States Code Title 4, Chapter 1 (§§01 – 10) The Flag

36 U.S.C. § 902 - National League of Families POW/MIA Flag 


On July 12, 2021, this policy was updated to reflect changes in the citations to applicable federal law and to correct a typographical error.

State University of New York Board of Trustees Resolution 09-08 adopted January 16, 2019.

Memorandum to Presidents from the office of the Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, dated October 17, 2001.


There are no appendices relevant to this policy.