Flags Half Staff at US Post Offices

Discussion in 'Half Mast / Half Staff' started by Bergschlawiner, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Bergschlawiner

    Bergschlawiner New Member

    It has been noticed, at least in my area near Seattle, that whenever the state governor has issued proclamations for flags to be lowered upon the death of a US service member that the local post offices are not complying. This was also noticed at the local US Forest Service District Office and the District Ranger was also concerned and found that they were not receiving notifications from the GSA and on his own initiative signed up for direct email notifications from thje state. I just spoke to a USPS representative on the phone who was not sympathetic and finally said complicance by local postmasters was not "mandatory." Excuse me, the revised US Code says "shall" be lowered! Have addressed this concern to my local congressman.

    Here is the information on the US Code:
    Please read the US Code below.
    Recently it has been observed that NONE of the local USPS offices in this area, including North Bend, Snoqualmie and others that have been seen have been lowering their US flags to half staff on those days when Gov. Gregoire has issued a proclamation to that effect. The US Forest Service District Ranger acknowledged that the USFS had not been following this and had not been receiving notifications from the GSA and as a result has taken the initiative to receive direct notifications from the Governor’s office by email.
    I reported this concern to the USPS and have been contacted by a representative at 253-214-1800 who was not sympathetic to my concerns and questioned them. I was told to talk to the local postal employees if I saw anything I did not like. I was also told that it is not “mandatory†for the postal service to comply with these proclamations if they do not wish to. Obviously this representative has the opinion that nothing in the US Code is mandatory, however I am reading the word “shall†which implies mandatory legally. This representative said I could quote her saying it was “not mandatory†for their employees to follow this code.
    I feel that the USPS has not been properly training their employees in following these flag regulations, as I previously discovered when I addressed their non-compliance with the POW/MIA flag issue and was told that the problem would be corrected. I will speak with the postmaster in North Bend about this of course. However, when the next flag lowering is proclaimed by Gov. Gregoire I will take pictures and see that this is mentioned in the local media. With the death of a Ft Lewis based soldier last week I expect a flag lowering very soon.
    As the Sergeant at Arms for an American Legion Post I take the Flag Code seriously as part of my duties. I am requesting that Congressman Dave Reichert’s office look into this locally and provide me with a better response from the US Postal Service please.
    Art Farash
    North Bend, WA
    43430 SE 174[SUP]th[/SUP] St
    North Bend WA 98045

    Federal Facilities must follow States lead with Half-Staff proclamations.
    The Flag Code half-staffing requirements was modified with new legislation signed into effect on June 29, 2007 by President Bush. The new legislation requires any federal facility within a region which proclaims half-staffing to honor a member of the US Armed Forces who died on active duty must follow the half-staffing proclamation. For example, if there is a US military fort in your state, and your Governor issues a Half-Staff proclamation, the the US military fort must follow the proclamation. This applies to all Governors of a State, possession or territory, or the Mayor of the District of Columbia. The text as adopted is shown below.
    (a) ISSUANCE OF PROCLAMATION.— Subsection (m) of section 7 of title 4, United States Code, is amended in the sixth sentence —

    (1) by inserting "or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty" after "present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States"; and
    (2) by inserting before the period the following: ", 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."

    (b) FEDERAL FACILITY CONSISTENCY WITH PROCLAMATION. — Such subsection is further amended by inserting after the sixth sentence the following new sentence: "When the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, or the Mayor of the District of Columbia, issues a proclamation under the preceding sentence that the National flag be flown at half-staff in that State, territory, or possession or in the District of Columbia because of the death of a member of the Armed Forces, the National flag flown at any Federal installation or facility in the area covered by that proclamation shall be flown at half-staff consistent with that proclamation.".

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