Over the centuries all kinds of customs and ceremonies involving flags have grown up throughout the world. Everywhere flags have emerged as symbols of authority or emblems of patriotism and have been accorded the respect due to them.
Some countries have drawn up strict rules to prevent any disrespect to the national flag. Some other countries show remarkable tolerance over the display of its flag, which can even be seen decorating shopping bags and tea mugs. Such apparent irreverence would be frowned upon in some other countries, where private citizens are forbidden by law from flying the national flag. Many of these countries have a special state flag for display by government bodies, and a civil flag for use by its citizens.