POL-U1000.07 Displaying Flags on University Flagpole

Dates and Approval

Effective Date:

March 15, 2022

Approved by:

President Sabah Randhawa

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy to the use of all flag poles on University property.


The flagpole is not a designated public forum. Areas of campus available as spaces for freedom of expression and peaceable assembly are listed in Chapter 516-35 WAC.


Institutional Flag

The flag of the United States, the flag of Washington State, the flag of Western Washington University and the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag.

Non-institutional Flags

Any other flag apart from the Flag of the United States, the flag of Washington State, the flag of Western Washington University and the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag.

University Flagpoles

Includes the Flag Plaza on South Campus Drive located between Wade King Student Recreation Center and the Academic Institutional West building, the flagpole adjacent to Viking Union on High Street and any flagpole that may be established.


University departments, or university organizations that are internal to or governed by the University and requesting to fly a flag on the University flagpole.


University departments, divisions, centers, institutes, registered student organizations, and other organizations that are recognized or governed by the University.

Policy Statements

1. Institutional Flags to be Permanently Displayed

The University will display the flag of the United States on the western flagpole, the flag of Washington State on the middle flagpole, and the flag of Western Washington University on the eastern flagpole at the Flag Plaza on the main University campus on a permanent basis. The University will display the national league of families' POW/MIA flag below the flag of the United States on the Flag Plaza on the days listed in RCW 1.20.017. If the designated day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the POW/MIA flag will be displayed on the preceding Friday.

2. Flags to be Lowered Upon State or Federal Direction or Recommendation

Upon direction or recommendation by the Governor of the State of Washington or the President of the United States, the United States flag and State of Washington flag will be lowered for the period of mourning defined by the proclamation.

3. Non-institutional Flags May be Flown Upon Approval of the President’s Cabinet

Sponsors may submit a request to their respective Vice President that non-institutional flags consistent with the University’s mission and values as described in the WWU Mission and Strategic Plan be flown underneath the Western Washington University flag. (See PRO-U100.07 and FRM-U1000.07). At a minimum, such flags must not violate federal, state, or local laws and other university polices.

Upon approval by the Vice President of the division and President’s Cabinet, approved flags may be flown underneath the University flag for a maximum period of up to 31 days. To provide broad access and in unusual circumstances, the display of a previously approved flag may be interrupted during the display period to accommodate the flying of another non-institutional flag.

4. Flags will Not be Displayed on Days when the Weather is Inclement

To avoid potential damage to flags or display equipment, flags will not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.

5. Sponsor Provides Non-Institutional Flags

The sponsor is responsible for the purchase and storage of the non-institutional flag. All flags must be of professional quality, be in good condition, and include affixation methods that will not damage the grounds or facilities where they are displayed or pose an undue risk of harm to pedestrians. The University is not responsible for loss or damage to non-institutional flags.

In compliance with 36 U.S.C. Chapter 10 (Sec 171; 173-178) Patriotic Customs, such flags may not be larger than the flag of the United States and must be a minimum of 3’ x 5’, and a maximum of 8’ x 12’.

6. Transportation Services is Responsible for Flag Display

Transportation Services is responsible for the flag display. This includes purchasing and maintaining the institutional flags, the flagpoles, and all associated equipment necessary in displaying the flags. It is the responsibility of the sponsor to provide the flags and equipment to Transportation Services for displaying and lowering.

The raising and lowering of all flags is primarily the responsibility of Transportation staff. Flags are traditionally raised and lowered at the beginning and end of the day(8.00am-4.00pm). Raising, lowering, and use of the United States flag shall conform to Title 4, U.S.C., Chapter 1 which outlines the rules for a) display and use of the flag, b) time and occasions for display, c) position and manner of display, d) respect for the flag, and e) conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of the flag.