Here are some general guidelines for hanging flags onto poles whether it is for display purposes or funerals or other events. If you have questions regarding protocol you can contact us and we would be happy to answer them


The flag of honor, which is the nation’s flag in most cases, is flown on the center mast if possible. It is also correct to fly the flag on its own right. To an observer it would be on the far left. If more than three flags are used, the proper position is as far left from the point of view of an observer. An additional flag may be placed on the right side, but is not necessary.

When two poles are crossed, the position of honor is the flag that ends on the left side from the point of view of an observer (the pole will therefore end on the right).

In a semicircle, the position of honor is the center. If a full circle is used outside an entrance to an arena or stadium, the position of honor is directly over the entrance. If used to line the walls of the arena, the flag should be placed directly opposite the entrance.


When flown horizontally, as from a flag pole, the flag should be oriented so that the canton is closest to the top of the pole. If hung against a wall, the canton should be placed in the upper-left corner from the point of view of the observer

When hung vertically, flags should be rotated so the canton is again closest to the top of the pole. If the flag is displayed against a wall, the canton should again appear in the upper-left corner, which incidentally requires that the flag be both rotated and “flipped” from its horizontal orientation.


On a vehicle the flag should be put on a window or affixed securely to the front of the chassis, on the nearside of the vehicle, i.e. the one opposite the driver. (In other words, in countries that drive on the right hand side of the road, the flag is on the right of the vehicle.) On a vehicle where a visiting Head of State or Government is sharing a car with the host Head of State or Government, the host’s flag takes the nearside position, the guest’s flag is on the offside.

When placed with a podium or at a place of worship the flag should hang directly behind or on a pole to the right of the speaker, from the point of view of the flag.

When carried in single file the flag of honor leads.


When flags of many nations are flown the flag of the hosting country should be placed on the left with the rest following in alphabetical order in the language of the host country.


Sometimes in a ceremonial flypast, a flag is flown from a weighted rope dangling from beneath a helicopter.

At a Funeral

The canton (upper left corner of the flag) should be draped over the upper left corner of the casket. The flag should be removed before the casket is lowered.
The flag size should be 4 1/2ft. x 9 ft. (1.4m x 2.8m)

Order of Presidence 

The Flags are displayed on the order of their inclusion into the country.

The order of precedence of the provincial flags is;

1. Ontario

2. Quebec

3. Nova Scotia

4. New Brunswick

5. Manitoba

6. British Columbia

7. Prince Edward Island

8. Saskatchewan

9. Alberta

10. Newfoundland

11. North West Territories

12. Yukon

13. Nunavut

When setting out flags two or more than three in number, they are placed, in order of precedence, from left to right as viewed by the observer. When three flags are displayed, the senior flag is centered with the second flag on the left and the third on the right as viewed by the observer. If a number of foreign flags are flown, they will follow the Canadian Flag. Their precedence is alphabetically, in English, from left to right as viewed by the observer. When a number of flags are flown together, all flags should be the same size and the flagpoles should be the same height.


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