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Display of the Flags and Emblems

Priority of the National Flag

When the national flag is displayed, it shall be placed in a prominent position.

The national flag, when raised or carried in a procession with another flag or flags, shall be in front of the other flag or flags.

The national flag, when displayed with another flag or flags, shall be either at the centre, above the other flag or flags, or in a position of prominence.

When the national flags of two or more nations are displayed in foreign affairs activities, relevant provisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the international practice shall be followed.

Flying the National Flag and Regional Flag at the same time

The national flag, when displayed with the regional flag, shall be either at the centre, above the regional flag, or in a position of prominence.

When the national flag and regional flag are displayed at the same time or displayed side by side, the regional flag shall be smaller than the national flag.

When both the national flag and regional flag are raised in a procession, the national flag is to precede the regional flag.

When the national flag is flown alongside the regional flag, the national flag is to be on the right and the regional flag on the left.

For the display of the national flag and regional flag inside a building, "left" and "right" sides of the backing wall are ascertained by reference to a person standing with his back to the wall and looking forward. For the display of the national flag and regional flag outside a building, "left" and "right" sides of the building are ascertained by reference to a person standing in front of the building and looking towards the front entrance of the building.

Display of the Flags and Emblems at Government Offices and Buildings

At present, the national and regional flags are displayed every day at the official residences of the Chief Executive, Government House, all boundary control and check points of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong International Airport and the Golden Bauhinia Square. The flags are also displayed on each working day and on the three specified days, i.e. National Day (1 October), Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day (1 July), and New Year’s Day (1 January) at the office of the Chief Executive, the Executive Council, the Legislative Council, the Central Government Offices, the law courts in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, government departmental headquarters, government composite buildings and public sports and cultural venues, etc.

Traditionally the flags are raised at sunrise and lowered at sunset. In following this tradition, the national and regional flags should be raised at 8:00 a.m. and lowered at 6:00 p.m.

National emblems are displayed at the office of the Chief Executive and the Central Government Offices. In addition, the regional emblems are displayed at the official residences of the Chief Executive, Government House, the Executive Council, the Legislative Council, the Central Government Offices, the law courts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, all boundary control and check points of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong International Airport and District Offices, etc.

Display of the Flags and Emblems at Government Offices and Buildings

Raising and Lowering of the Flags

Only one flag shall be hoisted from a flag staff.

When hoisted or lowered from a vertical staff, the flags shall be hoisted or lowered slowly. When hoisted, the flags must reach the peak of the staff; when lowered, they may not touch the ground.

The national flag, when flown together with the regional flag, shall be hoisted first and lowered last.

The flags, when flown at half staff, shall be first hoisted to the peak of the staff and then lowered to a point where the distance between the top of the flag and the peak of the staff is one third of the length of the staff; the flags, when lowered, shall be again hoisted to the peak before they are lowered.

The National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance and the Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Ordinance also set out the conditions for flying the flags at half staff.

The proper procedure for the raising and lowering of the flags should be carefully explained to the staff responsible for this duty.

Condition of flags

The flags, which are damaged, defiled, faded or substandard must not be displayed or used.

Flags should be regularly inspected to ensure that they are clean and in good condition. They should be dried and kept neatly folded and stored when not in use.

Severe Weather Conditions

The flags may not be hoisted or lowered in case of severe weather conditions.