Does a Mailbox Flag have to be Red?

Red Mailbox flags

If you take a stroll through your neighborhood and look at each mailbox, you will likely notice almost all flags are red. Red is a color that stands out so naturally it makes sense that the flag would be this color to alert the carrier of outgoing mail. However, does a mailbox flag have to be red? Let’s take a look at what the United States Postal Service (USPS) has to say about the flag color. 

Mailbox Flag Color Requirements

The USPS indicates that a signal flag can be “any color except any shade of green, brown, white, yellow or blue”.

The do have a preference for a flag color. That color is fluorescent orange. Keep in mind that this color is not mandatory but only prefered by the USPS.

Finally, the flag must clearly contrast the predominant color of the mailbox so that it stands out to the carrier (Source: USPS Standard Mailboxes, Curbside 3.10).

If you buy a mailbox from Home Depot or Lowe’s, as an example, it will almost certainly come with a flag color that is acceptable by the USPS. The flag color issue typically surfaces when someone paints or customizes an existing mailbox. 

Mailbox Color Requirements

Black and white are likely the most popular colors for mailboxes in the United States. However, it is not uncommon to see mailboxes that deviate from these colors. You’ve probably seen some people get pretty creative with their mailbox color choices. So, do mailboxes have to be a certain color?

According to the USPS, any color is acceptable for the mailbox. Check out this article from This Old House to see some beautiful mailbox and post ideas. Of course, if you have homeowner’s association or other restrictions you will have to follow those requirements in regard to the mailbox and post colors.