How Should a Flag Be Put Over a Casket?

Written by suzie faloon
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How Should a Flag Be Put Over a Casket?
The American flag is to be honoured and respected. (US flag image by Eishier from

The flag of the United States is draped over the casket of an honoured person who is a citizen of the country. Military members, firefighters, police officers, elected officials and any patriotic American may be honoured with a flag. Refer to the Flag Code in Title 4 of the United States Federal Code if there are questions about the display and presentation of the flag. Any military member or veteran who served honourably receives a free flag. Show respect and observe the proper way to display the flag on a casket at a funeral.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open the package that holds the flag and unfold it. The draping flag is 9½ feet by 5 feet, so be careful to keep it from touching the floor.

  2. 2

    Place the American flag on the fully closed casket and position it with the blue field at the upper left hand corner. The blue field or union covers the head and the left shoulder of the deceased.

  3. 3

    Drape and smooth the flag over the opposite end of the casket. Step back to check and see if the flag is evenly draped at the front length of the casket.

  4. 4

    Display the flag in three layers of 10-inch folds to cover the half-closed casket. The blue field will be positioned at the top of the closed lid on the left side of the deceased.

  5. 5

    Place the traditionally folded American flag in the fully open casket lid or cap above the left shoulder of the deceased. The folded flag is also placed next to an urn if the deceased is cremated.

Tips and warnings

  • Remove and fold the flag before burial.
  • Do not let the flag touch the ground. Do not display flowers on a casket next to or on top of the flag. Nothing should touch the flag. Do not secure the flag with tape.

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