Flags @ Half Staff

Discussion in 'Half Mast / Half Staff' started by www.tclp.org, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. www.tclp.org

    www.tclp.org New Member

  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Hello, Traverse City (Michigan) Light & Power - TCLP.org !!! :D

    Welcome to the USA-Flag-Site Forums !!! :D


    QUOTE : "Does your web site e-mail your members on the days to lower Flags to half staff? Thanks"


    Speaking merely as a member of these Forums and NOT as an Administrator or Owner, the answer is no, we do not offer e-mail notification of either Federal, State, or Local "Half-Staff Days".

    However, there ARE a number of on-line commercial Flag retail outlets that DO offer e-mail notification of FEDERAL "Half-Staff" days.

    For STATE "Half-Staff Days", you would need to contact your state Governor's office to see if they, or another state office, offer e-mail notifications.

    For Local "Half-Staff Days" e-mail notifications, contact the appropriate local governments (County, City, townships, etc.).

    While there are "official" limitations on who can designate "Half-Staff Days" (ie. the President and State Governors), those limitations are generally unknown and usually ignored. Anybody at any time can fly their own U.S. Flag at Half-Staff for their own reasons.


    The "official" rules & regulations regarding when to fly The Flag at Half-Staff are contained in the United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1. This is better known as "The Flag Code".

    An on-line copy of the Flag Code can be found HERE : http://www.usa-flag-site.org/etiquette-display.shtml.

    The pertinent "Half-Staff" passages are contained in Section 7, sub-section M. (at least that is what I think they are called.)

    §7. Position and manner of display

    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.
    NOTE : Peace Officers Memorial Day is May 15th. Armed Forces Day is the 3rd Saturday in May.

    ADDITIONAL NOTE : Although not currently listed in the U.S. Flag Code, September 11th of each year is designated (Federally) as "Patriot Day", and by Presidential Proclamation, Patriot Day is a "Half-Staff" day. The Presidential Proclamation has usually been issued approximately one week before Patriot Day.

    I'll see if I can find a few of the on-line Flag retailers that offer Half-Staff" e-mail notification service, and post links to them here.


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


    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
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  3. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Hello, Again! :D


    Here are but a FEW places where you can sign up for "Half-Staff" e-mail notifications. These were found using a quick Google search for "Half-staff notifications and picking some of the first ones. There were over 250,000 pages returned in the search! :eek:

    I'm just putting these links here as I found them. NONE of them should be seen as an endorsement by me or this website!!!


    http://www.google.com/search?q=Half-Staff+notification&hl=en&num=100&lr=&ft=i&cr=&safe=off&tbs=

    http://www.aflag.com/

    http://halfstaff.org/

    http://www.apexflags.com/halfstaff.html

    http://www.flagsexpress.com/half_staff/half_staff2.html

    http://www.legion.org/flag/notification


    NOTE : There are many, many other sites that offer "Half-Staff" notification services!


    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
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  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Hey, TCLP.org !!! :D


    Have you folks thought about LINKING to this website, USA-Flag-Site.org, as a patriotic service to your customers and visitors???


    Just a thought..... :D :D :D

    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
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  5. Conquistador

    Conquistador New Member

    A resident's family has asked that we fly our flag at half mast for a recently deceased family member that was a veteran. Is this permissable?
     
  6. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    That depends on whose permission you are asking. If you consult the United States Flag Code, the answer is "no". Only select individuals have the right to order flags to be flown at half-staff.

    If you really want to honor that veteran and his/her family, you may lower your flag to half-staff as the Flag Code is not enforceable and carries no penalties. In fact, you can go ahead and burn the flag and the Supreme Court will uphold your right to do so. However, if you want to follow the established guidance, you should fly the flag at full-staff.

    Here is the relevant text of the Flag Code:
    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. 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. 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-staffâ€￾ 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 departmentâ€￾ means any agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5, United States Code; and
    (3) the term “Member of Congressâ€￾ means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.

    Nick A
    Columbia Maryland
     
  7. flagnazi

    flagnazi Member

    Half-mast, half-staff. It was my understanding that half-mast meant only having to lower the flag one width (hoist) of the flag, not really a full half pole. Perhaps it is incorrect for me to use the same definition for half staff. I realize that half staff is land based and half mast is sea based. Can they be used interchangeably? The half-staff becomes an issue is there is a second flag flying below the National Colors thus I like the one hoist height down. Comment or discuss. Thanks Mike
     
  8. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

  9. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    In "Flags Through the Ages and Across the World" (Whitney Smith, 1975) it says that the half-staffing/masting of a flag represents "death's invisible flag" flying above the national flag. This corroborates your statement that the flag should only be lowered a distance equal to the width of the flag. I think that distance is quite satisfactory.

    Nick A
    Columbia Maryland
     
  10. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    With all due respect to our good friend Whitney, I suspect that the "invisible flag of death" is an after-the-fact explanation for an already-existing custom. I explained my reasoning a while back, in a post in this thread:

    http://www.usa-flag-site.org/forum/4-places-us-flag-never-flown-968.html

    Having said that, though, I agree with Nick that the definition of half-staff in the flag code ("one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff") is not always appropriate. It looks especially odd on a tall pole.

    Peter Ansoff
     
  11. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    THIS "One-Hit-Wonder" thread was started four months ago by TCLP.org (Traverse City Light & Power | Public Power for Traverse City, Michigan), and they haven't been back since! NOT even to read the reply I posted the same day (1/15/2011) !!!

    So what started out as a question about half-staff "notification" has somehow "morphed" into questions about "where" half-staff IS on a flagpole, what is the difference (if any) between "half-STAFF" and "half-MAST", and what is the "correct" terminology to use.


    "Half-STAFF" or "Half-MAST"??? How about "HALF-POLE", instead ???

    While they (staff & mast) may be interchangeable (or NOT), almost all Flags are flown from POLES, not staffs or masts. So..... Why not "HALF-POLE", eh???

    Currently, I go with the "half-staff" term on land and "half-mast" term on a ship or boat (with a mast). I served in the U.S. Navy and if memory serves me correctly, I seem to remember that when our ship was in port we flew our Flag from the stern POST and not the mast as we did when the ship (USS ORLECK DD-886!) was underway.


    WHERE is HALF-staff/mast/pole?

    I think it is pretty much where the "Flag Code" and almost ALL American English dictionaries describe it to be : approximately HALFWAY between the top and bottom of a flagpole/staff/mast. I say "approximately" because I'm never sure if "they" mean the "top", "bottom", or "middle" of the Flag should be "halfway".


    I think that "halfway" usually IS appropriate, although NOT always possible or recommended. Sometimes there are obstructions of some kind at the pole's halfway point such as trees, utility poles & wires, buildings, etc.

    Sometimes Flags are mounted directly to pole and can't be raised or lowered, such as with most house flag "kits". In that case you can affix a black "mourning" ribbon or pole to the top of the pole/staff/mast.

    Or maybe, if you're like me, you have a 3'x5' Flag attached (with screws) to a wood 8' pole. While you can detach the Flag from the top of the pole and re-attach it lower down, it is NOT appropriate to re-attach it at the "true" halfway point on the pole because the fly end of the Flag would be dragging on the ground! I "half-staff" the Flag by lowering it about one foot from the top. That way I can pay my respects while keeping the Flag aloft and allowing it to fly free.

    Like I've done today for "Peace Officers' Memorial Day".

    http://www.usa-flag-site.org/forum/peace-officers-memorial-day-2011-flags-9789.html#post32091

    [​IMG]



    SEE ???



    As for a "half-staffed" Flag on a tall pole looking "odd", I think it looks even MORE dramatic and makes a stronger statement. Assuming that the Flag is correctly "sized" to its pole.



    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
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  12. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    I am a half-Pole.:eek:

    My Dad's family was from Russia (Artimovich) and my Mother's family was from Poland (Blezinsky.) :D

    However, when I see the large government flags that measure 10 by 19 feet flying half way down the huge flagpoles they have in D.C., they appear to be much too low.

    How would this work for a defined location for a correctly sized flag? The lowest point of the fly should be at the exact middle of the pole? For one of these government flags I am talking about, which are on poles that appear to be 80 feet tall, the top of the flag would be at the 61-foot elevation (since the diagonal of a 10x19 flag is 21 feet.)

    That would not work at all for poles with oversized flags - you may need to center the flag's diagonal measurement at the middle of the pole.

    Nick A
    Columbia MD
     
  13. jwa4871

    jwa4871 New Member

    I have always wished I had a way to fly my flag at half-mast on appropriate days. However since my 3 foot flag is mounted on a 6 foot pole on the front of the house, there was no effective way to display it that way.

    I have figured out a way to do it, by using an extendable six foot drapery rod.

    The flag is mounted on the larger diameter portion of the rod, and the finial is mounted on the inner,smaller diameter, portion. When in its retracted position, the installation looks like the typical six foot mounting on the side of a building.

    To convert to half mast, the inner portion is simply extended, making the flag look like it is at half mast.

    Looks good.
     
  14. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Greetings, jwa4871,

    Very innovative -- I like it! If you can't lower the flag, raise the pole!

    Peter Ansoff
     
  15. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Hello, jwa4871 ! :D :D :D


    Could you post some pictures here so we can all see what it actually looks like ???


    Thank you !!! :D



    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
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  16. jwa4871

    jwa4871 New Member

    I have some pictures, but don't know how to send them to this forum. I can attach them to emails, but I need your email address.
    jwa4871@cox.net
     
  17. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Re: Flags @ Half Staff - How To Add Photos!

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    Hello, JWA4871 !

    Here is a link to a tutorial I put together for someone else. It worked for her (and others) so it should work for you too.

    http://www.usa-flag-site.org/forum/45-star-flag-1902-a-846-2.html


    Also, one of our members also put a DYI for including pictures in your post. It is short and to the point. It is called, "How to include a photo in your posts".

    http://www.usa-flag-site.org/forum/how-to-include-photo-your-posts-2821.html


    I have also found that if a picture is posted somewhere else and it is smaller than the maximum size allowed on here, that I can usually (but not always) "Copy/Paste" it into my post.


    I hope that helps you!



    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
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  18. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Here are JWA4871's photos:

    100_0121.JPG

    100_0122.JPG

    100_0123.JPG

    100_0125.JPG
     

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