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Flying the Flag

Etiquette and protocol for displaying the United States and Texas flags.

About This Guide

Do you want to fly a Texas or a U.S. flag outside your home but don't know how to do it properly? This page provides information about state, federal, and local laws related to flag display. 

Note Information in this guide is for reference purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice. If you need legal help or have questions about a specific situation, contact an attorney.

Texas Law

Texas laws related to the state flag are in Chapter 3100 of the Texas Government Code. The law provides guidelines to state agencies about the flag's design, display, and retirement.

Understanding the Law

Federal Law

United States flag laws for civilians can be found in the U.S. Code Title 4, Chapter 1. Also known as the Flag Code, the chapter provides guidelines for the proper design, display, and use of the American flag.

Understanding the Law

Municipal Ordinances

Incorporated cities, towns, and villages in Texas can enact local laws called "ordinances." It's a power granted to them by the state.

Local ordinances may regulate display of flags in your area.

Ordinances are usually grouped in a document called a "code of ordinances." You can often find it on the local government's website or in a third-party database. Our Municipal Laws & Ordinances page has links to several such databases. If you can't find the code ordinances online, contact the city hall or a local public library.

Property Owners' Associations

Property owners' associations (commonly known as HOAs) may not prohibit the display of an American flag or a Texas flag. However, there may be reasonable restrictions that regulate where and how the flag must be displayed. 

Texas Law

Texas property owners' rights related to flag display may be found in the Texas Property Code Section 202.012.

Property owners have a statutory right to display three types of flags:

  • a flag of the United States;
  • a flag of the State of Texas; or
  • an official or replica flag of any branch of the U.S. armed forces.

A property owners' association may:

  • require property owners to comply with Texas flag laws found in Texas Government Code Chapter 3100;
  • require property owners to comply with federal flag laws found in U.S. Code Title 4, Sections 5-10; and
  • regulate some aspects of flag display including flag size, flagpole height, and the number of flagpoles allowed on a property.

Federal Law

Residential property owners in the United States have the right to display a U.S. flag on their property, with some limitations. 

The limitations include:

  • the display or use of the flag must follow all applicable flag laws; and 
  • a property owners' association may restrict the “time, place, or manner of displaying the flag." The restrictions must be reasonable and protect the association’s “substantial interest."

HOA Restrictions

To learn about flag display restrictions in your property owners' association, consult the association's governing documents. They're often in a document called the "Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions," "Declaration," "Restrictions," "CC&R," or similar.

You can ask your HOA for a copy of restrictions or find it on their website. See our Property Owners' Associations guide's page on Records and Access to learn more about asking for HOA records.

Understanding the Law