Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Signs and other objects along highway right of way and MnDOT property

Orange barrels on a highway

Criteria for installation and maintenance of US flag

MnDOT will, in its sole discretion, display the U.S. flag at locations within trunk highway rights-of-way on controlled-access, freeway design highways.  At rest areas within these highway rights-of-way, MnDOT may also display the State of Minnesota and POW/MIA flags. No other flags, signs, banners or similar objects will be considered or allowed under this guideline.  

The following criteria will be used for installation and maintenance:

  • Installation locations will be determined by MnDOT at its sole discretion. The respective District Engineer, Assistant District Engineer (ADE) or Area Maintenance Engineer (AME) will be responsible for managing the installations and may not delegate the approval responsibility. Relevant considerations include the cost of installing and maintaining the display, the provisions of the U.S. Flag Code, and proximity of other U.S. flag displays on trunk highway rights-of-way.
  • Installations should take into account the context of the surrounding area or community. MnDOT may, in its discretion, consult with other governmental authorities (e.g., tribal, state agency, county, city or township) prior to installation, but the decision on whether and where to install a flag will be made solely by MnDOT.
  • U.S. flags should only be placed on the low speed portion of interchanges, overpasses,  or at rest areas. Preferred locations would be along a sidewalk and on structures with ornamental metal railings for ease of access and mounting.
  • Installations may be on or near bridges and structures. Flags will generally be 3'x5' and be of "all weather" design to facilitate display in inclement weather.
  • Flag pole designs will be developed and reviewed by the MnDOT Bridge Office or Office of Technical Support as applicable to ensure they are of sufficient strength and compatible with existing or proposed structures or roadway designs.
  • In the interest of public safety for all modes of travel, installation locations must not obstruct sight lines and sight corners, obstruct traffic signs or other traffic control devices, physically obstruct roadway horizontal or vertical clearance envelopes, or conflict with other highway right-of-way uses. They shall not be placed directly over traveled lanes or traveled areas of highways, walkways, bikeways, railroads or navigable waterways.
  • MnDOT will strive to follow the U.S. Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Subd. 7 as the basis for position and manner of display, subject to practical constraints. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title4/html/USCODE-2011-title4-chap1.htm
  • Due to the use of short poles at most locations and resource limitations, Flags will generally not be flown at "half-staff' except at locations such as rest areas where existing staffing and pole designs facilitate the practice.
  • U.S. flags will only be installed at locations with sufficient lighting for 24 hour a day display. Lighting will not be added by MnDOT to facilitate display of a flag unless it is part of the construction of a new roadway or bridge or reconstruction of an existing facility.
  • Locations will be limited to areas within existing trunk highway right-of-way. No new right-of­way will be purchased solely for the installation of flags.
  • Flags will be replaced when they become torn, tattered or in otherwise poor condition.
  • MnDOT may remove U.S. flag installations at its discretion at any time.


For information on the technical contents of this guidance, please contact the MnDOT Maintenance Operations Engineer at 651-366-3556.