I was noticing today that most major US airlines have American flags either painted or in sticker form somewhere on their airplanes. The flags are usually located on the tail or next to the registration number. However, airlines such as Southwest, Airtran and Jet Blue (just to name a few) do not have the American flag anywhere on them.
Are only the Airlines that fly International routes allowed to put the American flag on their airplanes? Could domestic only Airlines put the flag on their planes if they wanted?
One other interesting thing that I noticed is that Northwest Airlines had the largest American flag out of the ones I saw today, and it was prominently and proudly displayed on the forward portion of the fuselage instead of some little sticker hidden somewhere on the rear of the aircraft.
ASA, I believe that will probably change now due to the current events. Even though I live in Canada it would be great to see all American carriers proudly displaying the flag. I also assume we will be seeing it more prominently, much like Northwest does now.
Actually AirTran is a flag carrier. They do not currently have the American flag on their fleet, but they did have them on their now retired 737-200 (at least those that were in the old livery). They are a little hard to see clearly, but they're there:
They dropped the flag because the airline post merger did not fly to any international destinations. I would not be surprised if they rush to put flags on their planes. ASA has only in the past year started to put flags on their planes as well, with the Brasilias getting them with the new paintjob, and the CRJs that have been delivered in the Delta livery.