Red-White-Blue-Flowers-4th-July Photo Credit: jimbrickett

On July 4, 1776, the 13 American colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence. No longer would they live under Great Britain's rule. We celebrate this important date each year by setting off fireworks and flying the United States flag. Follow these handy tips when decorating your house in red, white and blue for the Fourth of July holiday.

Display the Flag

The U.S. flag comes in multiple sizes, from small stick flags you display in the yard to larger flags that require a mount or pole. Mounts and poles are available in a variety of materials-including plastic, zinc, aluminum, cast iron, steel and brass-and finishes, allowing you to pick one that best suits the exterior style of your home. Any home improvement store will have these patriotic supplies in stock this time of year.

The U.S. "Flag Code" dictates the proper way to fly the flag at home. You can get the complete rules at Senate.gov. At the minimum, you should:

  • Fly the flag "union," or the blue field of white stars, at the peak of the staff.
  • Only display the flag from sunrise to sunset unless lit at night.
  • Bring in the flag during wet weather unless it is an all-weather flag.
  • Not let the flag touch the ground or floor.

While you likely won't hear from the law by breaking the above rules, a particularly patriotic neighbor, veteran or active soldier may be insulted by any disrespect shown to the flag.

Other Fourth of July Decorating Ideas

You can adorn the exterior of your home with other red, white, and blue decorations. You can buy bunting featuring red, white and blue stripes and stars, or make your own with this helpful how-to guide from HGTV. And check out this roundup of Fourth of July wreaths on Pinterest; many of the photos include information about where to purchase or how to make them. Or you can simply pick up red, white and blue ribbon from your local crafts store and tie bows to hang on your front door or around trees.

Also, consider making a floral statement. You can keep it simple and stock window boxes or a bed with geraniums, salvia or snapdragons in red; alyssum, petunias or heliotrope in white; and ageratum or lobelia in blue. Or you can plan the flowers in the design of the U.S. flag. The garden or home improvement store in your area also can point you toward annuals in patriotic colors.

Finally, when decorating your home for the Fourth of July holiday, be sure to involve the younger members of your family. Better Homes and Gardens offers a roundup of craft activities for kids, such as a:

Martha Stewart also offers a roundup of patriotic kids activities and crafts on her website.

While you can handle most of the decorating to-dos included here yourself, it might make sense to assign more involved tasks to your professional handyman. Flagpoles require the use of cement, which can be intimidating to many homeowners. You also might not like to spend time up on a ladder handing decorations from your home. Your handyman can get the job done quickly and safely. You'll just need to direct and supervise.

Happy Fourth of July!

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