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International Council of Air Shows

Department of Defense Unfurls New Flag Guidance

March 9th, 2023

The U.S. Defense Department recently issued clarification to previous guidance that will prohibit the use of very large U.S. flags during parachute jumps at air shows and other events. Although the internal memo is dated February 10, the information did not become public until last week.


In the policy clarification issued last month, the department's leaders expressed concern over proper flag protocol and alignment with Title 4, United States Code, more commonly known as the U.S. Flag Code. The code, which is referenced in DoD regulations, provides guidance on how to properly display the American flag, including rules about its size, placement, and handling. Defense Department officials believe that flags have been allowed to land on the ground during parachute demonstrations. The clarification of guidance was issued to address that perceived breach of the U.S. Flag Code.


DoD jump teams and other military representatives are currently working to clarify the implications of this new policy interpretation. ICAS has engaged with DoD representatives on this issue and will provide ICAS members with additional details as the situation becomes clearer.