Online Sunshine Logo
Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature
November 21, 2017
Text: 'NEW Advanced Legislative Search'
Interpreter Services for the Hearing Impaired
Go to MyFlorida House
Select Year:  
The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XVIII
PUBLIC LANDS AND PROPERTY
Chapter 256
FLAGS
View Entire Chapter
CHAPTER 256
CHAPTER 256
FLAGS
256.01 Flag of United States to be displayed.
256.011 Display of flag on election day.
256.015 Display of state flag; protocol.
256.02 Certain officers to provide flag.
256.031 Department of State custodian of state flag.
256.032 Display of state flag at public schools.
256.041 Purchase of United States flag or state flag for public use.
256.05 Improper use of state or United States flag, or other symbol of authority.
256.051 Improper use or mutilation of state or Confederate flag or emblem prohibited.
256.06 Mutilation or disrespect of state or United States flag.
256.07 Exceptions.
256.08 Definition.
256.09 Penalty.
256.10 Mutilation of or disrespect for Confederate flags or replicas.
256.11 Public auditoriums; display of the United States flag.
256.12 Display of POW-MIA flags.
256.13 POW-MIA flag; display at rest areas.
256.14 POW-MIA flag; display at state parks.
256.15 Firefighter Memorial Flag
256.01 Flag of United States to be displayed.The flag of the United States shall be displayed daily when the weather permits, from a staff upon the state capitol and upon each county courthouse.
History.s. 1, ch. 7369, 1917; RGS 1206; CGL 1683.
256.011 Display of flag on election day.
(1) The supervisor of elections of each county in this state shall provide a flag of the United States for each polling place in the county. The flag shall be displayed properly and prominently at all designated polling places on all days when an election is being held.
(2) The supervisor of elections of each county in the state shall make the flags available to each municipality or governmental body holding an election within such county for each election held for any such municipality or governmental body within such county. The municipality or governmental body shall have the responsibility of properly and prominently displaying the flag at each such polling place on all days when an election is being held and shall bear the expense of displaying the flag of the United States.
(3) Each supervisor of elections is authorized to purchase a sufficient number of flags to carry out the purpose of this act out of the general revenue fund of each such county.
(4) In lieu of a flag of the United States, a picture or representation of the flag may be displayed at the polling place, provided such picture or representation measures, at a minimum, 1 square foot in size.
History.s. 1, ch. 63-227; s. 44, ch. 90-315.
256.015 Display of state flag; protocol.
(1) The Governor shall adopt a protocol on flag display. The protocol must provide guidelines for the proper display of the state flag and for the lowering of the state flag to half-staff on appropriate occasions, such as on holidays and upon the death of high-ranking state officials, uniformed law enforcement and fire service personnel, and prominent citizens.
(2) The Governor may adopt, repeal, or modify any rule or custom as the Governor deems appropriate which pertains to the display of the state flag.
History.s. 1, ch. 2013-165.
256.02 Certain officers to provide flag.The officer charged with the maintenance or upkeep of the buildings mentioned in s. 256.01 shall provide suitable flags and cause them to be displayed, the expense to be borne out of the funds provided for the upkeep and maintenance of said buildings.
History.s. 2, ch. 7369, 1917; RGS 1207; CGL 1684.
256.031 Department of State custodian of state flag.
(1)(a) The Department of State is the custodian of the official state flag, and, for the purpose of assisting schools, governmental agencies, and other groups and organizations in the care, handling, and history of the state flag, including all flags that have flown over any part of the State of Florida by those sovereigns to which Florida has belonged, the department is hereby authorized to buy and sell flags and to present, at no cost to such schools, governmental agencies, or other groups, and organizations, flags and printed material giving information in the care, handling, and history of such flags, up to an annual cost of $15,000. Proceeds from the sale of flags shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund.
(b) The Department of State may also furnish official flags, plaques, and proclamations for state functions and ceremonies, up to an annual cost of $2,000.
(2) Each flag so presented shall carry a note indicating the following: “This flag is being presented to you by courtesy of the people of Florida” and no other name.
History.s. 1, ch. 29747, 1955; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; ss. 1, 2, ch. 72-123; s. 27, ch. 93-120.
256.032 Display of state flag at public schools.The state flag shall be displayed at a suitable place and in the appropriate manner on the grounds of each elementary and secondary public school. The school boards shall furnish flags whenever necessary.
History.s. 1, ch. 65-200; s. 1, ch. 69-300.
256.041 Purchase of United States flag or state flag for public use.When the state, a county, or a municipality purchases a United States flag or a state flag for public use, the flag must be made in the United States from articles, materials, or supplies, all of which are grown, produced, and manufactured in the United States. This section applies to the purchase of a flag on or after January 1, 2016.
History.s. 2, ch. 2015-138.
256.05 Improper use of state or United States flag, or other symbol of authority.No person shall, in any manner, for exhibition or display:
(1) Place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing or advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, color, ensign or shield of the United States or of this state, or authorized by any law of the United States or this state; or
(2) Expose to public view any such flag, standard, color, ensign or shield upon which shall have been printed, painted or otherwise produced, or to which shall have been attached, appended, affixed or annexed any such word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing or advertisement.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 7819, 1919; s. 1, ch. 9325, 1923; CGL 8117, 8118; s. 1, ch. 57-74.
256.051 Improper use or mutilation of state or Confederate flag or emblem prohibited.
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to copy, print, publish, or otherwise use the flag or state emblem of Florida, or the flag or emblem of the Confederate States, or any flag or emblem used by the Confederate States or the military or naval forces of the Confederate States at any time within the years 1860 to 1865, both inclusive, for the purpose of advertising, selling, or promoting the sale of any article of merchandise whatever within this state.
(2) It shall also be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to mutilate, deface, defile, or contemptuously abuse the flag or emblem of Florida or the flag or emblem of the Confederate States by any act whatever.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the use of any flag, standard, color, shield, ensign, or other insignia of Florida or of the Confederate States for decorative or patriotic purposes.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 61-375; s. 5, ch. 91-221.
256.06 Mutilation or disrespect of state or United States flag.No person shall publicly mutilate, deface, defile, defy, trample upon, or by word or act cast contempt upon any such flag, standard, color, ensign or shield.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 7819, 1919; s. 1, ch. 9325, 1923; CGL 8117, 8118.
256.07 Exceptions.Sections 256.05 and 256.06 shall not apply to any act permitted by the Statutes of the United States or of this state, or by the United States Army and Navy Regulations, nor shall it apply to any printed or written document or production, stationery, ornament, picture or jewelry whereon shall be depicted said flag, standard, color, ensign or shield with no design or words thereon.
History.New in Florida Statutes, 1941; s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s. 2, ch. 57-74.
256.08 Definition.The words “flag,” “standard,” “color,” “ensign,” or “shield,” as used in ss. 256.05-256.07, shall include any flag, standard, color, ensign or shield, or copy, picture or representation thereof, made of any substance or represented or produced thereon, and of any size, evidently purporting to be such flag, standard, color, ensign or shield of the United States or of this state, or a copy, picture or representation thereof.
History.New in Florida Statutes, 1941.
256.09 Penalty.Any person violating the provisions of s. 256.05 or s. 256.06 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.ss. 1-3, ch. 7819, 1919; s. 1, ch. 9325, 1923; CGL 8117, 8118; s. 155, ch. 71-136.
256.10 Mutilation of or disrespect for Confederate flags or replicas.No person shall publicly mutilate, deface, defile, defy, trample upon, or by word or act cast contempt upon the flags of the Confederacy, or replicas thereof, for crass or commercial purposes; provided however nothing contained herein shall be construed to prevent or prohibit the use of such flags for decorative or patriotic purposes.
History.s. 1, ch. 61-115.
256.11 Public auditoriums; display of the United States flag.
(1) Each publicly supported and controlled auditorium within a separate building shall display daily the flag of the United States upon a suitable flagstaff upon the grounds of the auditorium except when the weather does not permit such display, and each publicly supported and controlled auditorium within a part of a building shall display daily the flag of the United States inside of the auditorium whenever the auditorium is open.
(2) It is the duty of the person responsible for the administration of such auditorium to provide a suitable flag and cause it to be displayed in the manner provided in subsection (1). If any person willfully causes the flag to fail to be so displayed, except for the cleaning, repair, or replacement of such flag, such person is guilty of a noncriminal violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.083.
History.s. 1, ch. 76-99; s. 2, ch. 99-276.
256.12 Display of POW-MIA flags.On and after September 19, 1990, each state-owned building at which the flag of the United States is displayed must also display a POW-MIA flag, if such flag is available free of charge to the agency that occupies the building and if such display is in accordance with federal laws and regulations.
History.s. 1, ch. 90-75.
256.13 POW-MIA flag; display at rest areas.The Florida Department of Transportation shall fly the POW-MIA flag year round at each of the rest areas along interstate highways in this state.
History.s. 1, ch. 2000-329.
256.14 POW-MIA flag; display at state parks.The Department of Environmental Protection shall purchase and display the POW-MIA flag year-round at each of the state parks where the flag of the United States is displayed.
History.s. 1, ch. 2008-159.
256.15 Firefighter Memorial FlagThe Division of State Fire Marshal of the Department of Financial Services shall design, produce, and implement the creation and distribution of an official state Firefighter Memorial Flag to honor firefighters who have died in the line of duty.
(1) The flag may be displayed at memorial or funeral services of firefighters who have died in the line of duty, at firefighter memorials, at fire stations, at the Fallen Firefighter Memorial located at the Florida State Fire College in Ocala, by the families of fallen firefighters, and at any other location designated by the State Fire Marshal.
(2) The flag shall have a blue background, with a black horizontal stripe across the middle of the flag and a horizontal purple stripe above and below the black stripe. It shall also contain a red Maltese Cross or Cross of St. Florian in the center of the flag surrounding the Great Seal of the State of Florida, and the phrase “Florida Fallen Firefighters” in gold capital letters shall be placed at the top of the flag and the phrase “Memorial Flag” shall be placed at the bottom of the flag. Each arm of the cross shall contain one of the words “Courage,” “Honor,” “Sacrifice,” and “Valor.”
(3) The Department of Financial Services may adopt rules relating to the production and distribution of the flag.
History.s. 1, ch. 2009-52.