About Flag Lighting

Facts about Flag Lighting

For over 200 years, the American flag has been a symbol of our nation’s strength and unity.
It has been a source of pride and inspiration and has been a prominent icon in our national history.



For over 200 years, the American flag has been a symbol of our nation’s strength and unity. It has been a source of pride and inspiration and has been a prominent icon in our national history.

On January 1st, 1776 the flag had 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner (the canton). This Grand Union flag was ordered by George Washington to be raised above his base at Prospect Hill after the British Army had taken over Boston.

On June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”

Between the years 1777 & 1960, Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag which allowed additional stars and stripes to be added for each new state.

As of today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with six white. The 13 stripes represent the original 13 colonies and the 50 stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic. Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor. White symbolizes Purity and Innocence. Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.


The usage of flags today actually came from their use in India and China over 2500 years ago where it is likely they were invented. From there, their use spread into other parts of Asia. During the middle ages flags were used for a variety of purposes including identification of members of nobility, guilds, cities, religious worship, and for use during battles. They have been used in their physical form on land and at sea as well in later years printed on aircraft and other forms of transportation. Their purpose being to identify their nationality and on vessels it became a legal requirement where a national flag evolved into a maritime flag. In wars from the last century and beyond, flags for military purposes were carried into battle but became objects to be captured. These days they used only at ceremonial events. There are almost 200 different flags for each country of the world and many hundreds more used for other purposes.


Flagpoles have gone through many changes over the years since flags were first flown. They used to be made out of wood. The process was time consuming and consideration had to be given into preserving the wood from rotting. If built properly they could last for over 50 years. That was before the industrial revolution. Throughout the early 1900’s they were usually made from steel. They can still be made from wood or steel but these days they are typically made from aluminum or fiberglass. They are available in various different sizes and for home or commercial use. Flags and flag pole supplies are actually a big industry in the USA.


In the USA if you intend to leave you flag flying throughout the hours of darkness the flag must be illuminated using a dedicated flag lighting system. Otherwise, the flag must be lowered before sunset. The use of a solar powered flag lighting system is an ideal solution as you do not need to be concerned with installing an electricity to the base of the flag pole. That can be difficult and expensive. Solar Illuminations offers a large collection of solar flag pole lights. All of them are easy to install and very cost effective.

Federal law stipulates many aspects of flag etiquette. The section of law dealing with American Flag etiquette is generally referred to as the Flag Code.

Some general guidelines from the Flag Code answer many of the most common questions:
  • The flag should be illuminated at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.
  • The flag should be flown in fair weather, unless the flag is designed for inclement weather use.
  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should not be used for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind placed on it, or attached to it.
    The flag should never be used for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
  • When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
  • The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
  • When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Would you like to light up your flag using clean energy?
Give us a call at (239) 461-5522 and talk to one of Solar Illuminations technicians

We have the right product for your need!