Former POW & Congressman John McCain

Discussion in 'Half Mast / Half Staff' started by FlagAdvocate, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    Please lower your US and subordinate flags to half-staff in tribute to former POW and Congressman John McCain. I expect President Trump to issue a proclamation to that affect in the near future.

    It should be noted that Senator McCain's death raises the question of how long should the US flag be displayed at half-staff.

    According to the US Flag Code §7(m), there are specific time periods for the US flag to be displayed at half-staff for "principal figures of the United States Government” including a Member of Congress. “The flag should be flown at half-staff….”on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress”.

    However, President Eisenhower's Proclamation 3044 issued March 1, 1954 clarified in the case of the death of a US Senator, the flag should be flown at half-staff from the day of death to interment. See paragraph 2 of:
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    As I read that proclamation, the "day of interment" provision applies only within the state or territory of the deceased official, Arizona in this case. Elsewhere, it's still the day of death and the following day.
    FlagAdvocate likes this.
  3. FoxValleyMike

    FoxValleyMike Member

    My flag is out with a black mourning ribbon today (and most of yesterday as well).

    I agree with Peter however on the length of time. It seems to read that its the day of death and the following day everywhere, and from the day of death until burial in the state or territory of such senator (not the exact wording). So for those in Arizona the flag would be half staffed for at least the rest of the week (not sure when Mr. McCain is being laid to rest), but the rest of the country stops the half staff after today.
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  4. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    Peter & Mike,
    Thank you for that clarification. I had to go back and re-read President Eisenhower's Proclamation 3044 and I concur with your conclusion. Thank you!!!
  5. richard.a

    richard.a New Member

    --comments deleted--
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  6. FoxValleyMike

    FoxValleyMike Member

    The flag protocol is actually only for federal buildings (or state if the governor issues a direction). Private citizens can do as they wish.

    I live in Illinois so technically the half staff directive from the white house ended yesterday (not that it governed me) but my intention is to fly at half staff,or in my case with a black ribbon, until Mr McCain is interned as well.
  7. richard.a

    richard.a New Member

    I'm in Washington state and our governor, Jay Inslee, just released a directive that flags at state agencies and government buildings in our state be lowered to half-staff and remain at half-staff until sunset on Sunday, September 2nd. He encourages other government entities, citizens and businesses to join this recognition. Hopefully, other state governors will issue a similar or identical proclamations since the White House refuses to do so.

    Therefore, I now have no reservation in keeping the mourning ribbon attached to my flag until next Sunday despite Trump purposely refusing to issue an official proclamation because of his personal feelings towards Senator McCain. I will check my comments this time on my feelings pertaining to the White House on this issue.

    ETA: The flag at the White House has now been lowered to half-staff evidently because of political pressure from both sides of the aisle, White House aides, and from a variety of dignitaries from around the world. Perhaps Trump now will in fact will issue an official proclamation. I guess we'll have to stay tuned during the day to see what develops.

    second edit: Trump has now issued an official proclamation to have flags lowered to half-staff until sunset September 2nd. Again, I will refrain to comment on this as I know this is not a political message board but I am seething in my boots.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  8. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

  9. David Wagner

    David Wagner Member

    I found this topic interesting so I tried to look up a little history on flying the flag at half-staff. It doesn't seem like the Eisenhower Proclamation is still followed. The only calendar I could find showing the dates the flag few at half-staff was 2016. That year saw the flag at half-staff for Justice Scalia (until internment), Israel PM Shimon Peres (3 days), Nancy Reagan (until internment), and John Glenn (until internment). According to Proclamation 3044, Scalia's length was correct, Glenn's length was wrong, Peres's length was at the President's discretion, and a former First lady's appropriate length wasn't mentioned. Just curious to know whether anyone else has looked at recent years to see if 3044 is still followed?
  10. richard.a

    richard.a New Member

    A friend told me last year that he goes strictly by the published directive from the governor of our state as to when to display the U.S. flag at half-staff. The governor's directives not only will echo the proclamation coming from the President but will also dictate the occasions when the state flag along with the U.S. flag are to be lowered to half-staff ...for instance, last month the Governor directed both the state flag and the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff on the day of the memorial service for a local police officer killed in the line of duty go HERE for the example.

    Therefore, I think I will now take all cues from the Governor of our state as to when I lower --or to attach the mourning ribbon-- to my U.S. flag.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018

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