EPA's School Flag Program

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EPA's School Flag Program is easy and inexpensive and has an environmental focus that impacts students, teachers and the community with protective health benefits.

The School Flag Program helps children, parents, school personnel and the community be aware of daily air quality conditions using brightly colored flags. Each day, a flag is raised in front of participating schools that signals the level of air pollution for that day. By comparing the colored flags to the Air Quality Index (AQI), members of the school and the surrounding community can tell what the daily air quality is, and adjust their activities to reduce their exposure to air pollution. Green indicates good air quality, yellow is moderate, orange means unhealthy for sensitive groups (like children and those with asthma), and red signals unhealthy air for everyone. A purple flag means the air quality is very unhealthy and sensitive groups should avoid all outdoor exertion and everyone else should limit outdoor exertion.

The program includes activity sheets for grades K-5 as well as additional student, teacher, and school resources.

Four easy steps will get your flag program started:
1. Purchase set of flags.
2. Educate and inform the school and community at the start of the program.
3. Check the AQI at www.epa.gov/airnow. Sign up for emails (www.airnow.gov/enviroflash), download the AirNow app, or install the AirNow widget on your website to obtain the daily air quality forecast and fly the corresponding flag.
4. Know what actions to take when the air quality is unhealthy.

A list of registered schools in the School Flag Program is available at the website listed below.

To learn more about the program or to help get the program started at your school, please visit

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Topic Areas: 
Target Audience: 
Grades Pre K-6
Geographic Location: 
All Minnesota
Outside Minnesota
Price to purchase flags
Library loan: 
Is training required?: 
Contact(s) or order information.: 

Donna Rogers
US Environmental Protection Agency
Email: rogers.donna@epa.gov