Dates for Half Staff

Discussion in 'Half Mast / Half Staff' started by 78stewburner, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. 78stewburner

    78stewburner New Member

    Is there a list of days that the flags are to be at half staff? Like Memorial Day etc...I was wondering about the POW / MIA day (Sept. 18th) whether or not that is one of the days authorized? Thank you.
     
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Hello, 78stewburner ! :D

    Welcome to the USA-Flag-Site Forums !


    QUOTE : "Is there a list of days that the flags are to be at half staff? Like Memorial Day etc...I was wondering about the POW / MIA day (Sept. 18th) whether or not that is one of the days authorized?"


    To my knowledge, there are only two (2) specific days listed in the U.S. Flag Code that the Flag should be flown at half-staff: "Memorial Day" and "Peace Officers Memorial Day". There are, in addition to those two days, other circumstances listed in the code. You will find the information you are looking for in the U.S. Code, Title 4 (The Flag), Section 7 {§7. Position and manner of display}, sub-section (m.).

    A copy of the code can be found HERE : http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagcode.htm


    As mentioned in the Flag Code, the President of the United States can both direct the various departments of the Federal Government to fly the Flag at half-staff and request that others do the same. Governors of the States have the same "power" within their respective States.

    Although NOT specifically mentioned in the Flag Code, it is Public Law that each year the President must issue a proclamation that ALL U.S. Flags are to be flown at half-staff on Patriot Day, September 11th.

    When George W. Bush was President, he usually issued the Patriot Day proclamation about one week before Patriot Day.


    I hope that helps answer your question !


    Thank You for bringing your Flag-related question to our Forums !


    Robin Hickman
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  3. RUSAFJAG

    RUSAFJAG New Member

    I wonder how long the flag flies at half mast for various people? I seem to remember it flew at half mast for 30 days after the deaths of Presidents Reagan and Ford, and it also flew a long time for Chief Justice Rehnquist. Is there a number of days for sitting Senators or members of Congress?
     
  4. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Hi,

    The list is in 4 USC 1 Section 7m, which you can view here:

    US CODE: Title 4,7. Position and manner of display

    The period for members of Congress is the day of death and the day after. The President can modify these rules, and he did so in the case of Senator Kennedy. His proclamation specified that flags would be at half-staff through 30 August, and on the day of interment (if the latter were to occur after 30 August, which it apparently will not).

    Peter Ansoff
     
  5. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Greetings, RUSAFJAG ! :D

    Welcome to the USA-Flag-Site Forums !


    Yes, there are a specific number of days for the Flag to be flown at half-staff for members of the government, including members of Congress (the day of their death and the day following, UNLESS the President issues a proclamation that decrees a different time-frame).

    You will find the information you are looking for in the same U.S. Code, Title 4 (The Flag), Section 7 {§7. Position and manner of display}, sub-section (m.) that I cited earlier in this thread.

    A copy of the code can be found HERE : http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagcode.htm

    Section 7 {§7. Position and manner of display}, sub-section (m.) :

    (m.) The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States, or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff, and the same authority is provided to the Mayor of the District of Columbia with respect to present or former officials of the District of Columbia and members of the Armed Forces from the District of Columbia. The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President; 10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day. As used in this subsection —
    1. the term "half-staff" means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;
    2. the term "executive or military department" means any agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5, United States Code; and
    3. the term "Member of Congress" means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.
    President Barack Obama issued a proclamation on August 26th, the day after Senator Edward M. Kennedy passed away. In his Presidential Proclamation, President Obama extended the half-staff period to Sunset on August 30th. The Presidential Proclamation can be found HERE :

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Presidential-Proclamation-Death-of-Senator-Edward-M-Kennedy/


    I hope that answers your question.

    Thank You for bringing your Flag-related question to our Forums !



    Robin Hickman
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