U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst prepares to deliver the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, on Capitol Hill on Jan. 20, 2015 in Washington.
Mark Wilson—Getty Images
By Ryan Teague Beckwith
January 7, 2016

President Obama will give his last State of the Union Tuesday, which means Republicans will have their last chance at a rebuttal.

Given the pomp of the President’s speech, the setting of the State of the Union response is particularly tricky. The best backdrops balance formal and informal, avoiding a direct comparison to the main event.

From fireplaces to American flags, here are some tips and tricks for a good backdrop.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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