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The Air Quality Flag Program alerts organizations, particularly schools, to the local air quality forecast and helps them to take actions to protect people’s health, including those with asthma. Here’s how it works: each day, your organization raises a flag that corresponds to how clean or polluted the air is. The color of the flag matches EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI): green, yellow, orange, red, and purple.

On unhealthy days, your organization can use this information to adjust physical activities to help reduce exposure to air pollution while still keeping people active.

How-To Ensure a Successful Flag Program

Step 1: Purchase Materials

Purchase five flags in the AQI colors (green, yellow, orange, red, and purple) for your school and designate a place to hang them. Flag ordering tips can be found here.

Step 2: Educate the School

Before implementing the flag program, spend time educating your students and faculty about the importance of air quality and how the flag program works. Consider hosting a Flag Event, and put Flag Program Posters up to help spread awareness. Communicate to parents with a letter about the program, to faculty through email, and the rest of the community via press release if needed.

Step 3: Create a Flag Committee

Designate a group of people to be responsible for keeping the flags up to date. Create a faculty committee and/or an air quality organization for students to get them involved in air quality awareness.

Step 4: Monitor the AQI Daily

  Check the daily air quality in the North Texas region by visiting and sign up to receive alerts when the air quality changes. Consider adding the Arlo AQI widget to your school’s website.

Step 5: Fly Flags Daily 

Fly your flags based on your local Air Quality Index (AQI) for the day. 

Step 6: Take Action When Needed 

 Make adjustments to regularly scheduled outdoor activity if AQI levels are high. Use this guide to determine what actions to take for each color.

Step 7: Complete EPA's Flag Program Registration Form 

 Complete this online registration form once you’ve adopted the flag program. EPA will add your organization to the online list of program participants and will send you an official certificate for display.

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