Half-staff for a dog

Discussion in 'Half Mast / Half Staff' started by Peter Ansoff, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    The following is a quote from the book "The American Flag, Its Uses and Abuses" by Robert Philllips PhD, published in 1930. Dr. Phillips was a professor of history at Purdue University.

    "It seems that Governor Percival P. Baxter, of the State of Maine, had a canine pet of which he was particularly fond, and Irish terrier by the name of Garry. On the death of his dog he ordered that the flags of the Capitol be half-masted. The injunction roused a furor of excitement. Was it not unprecedented for an entire state to put on weeds for the death of a dumb animal? Were they not called upon to commit an act of sacrilege? The Grand Army of the Republic, and other patriotic bodies, supported by scores of offended citizens, rained upon the chief executive their indignant protests.

    "In reply, Governor Baxter declared that he yielded to no one in his reverence for the flag. 'Dogs have played their part in peace and war,' he added. 'From earliest ages they have been man's protectors and friends. History records that in our recent conflict dogs saved countless lives, performed many acts of bravery and devotion, and in their death were fittingly honored by their human companions. The names of the state and nation have not been tarnished because their flags were placed at half-mast out of respect to one of God's humble but noble creatures'

    (Dr. Phillips continued): " . . . although the incident may now be regarded as closed . . . we cannot admit that the question has been settled. There are wide disparities between mourning for eminent statemen and mourning for dogs; but more pertinent still, it is only a step from dogs to other animal friends of man. And while one may be willing to condone the act of the Maine governor, one must express the fervent hope that it will not be followed by promiscuous and injudicious condescensions of "Old Glory" into the kingdom of lower animals."

    Peter Ansoff
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  2. Bergschlawiner

    Bergschlawiner New Member

    As a dog lover, I would not be upset to see a private flag lowered providing the dog was a law enforcement canine who died in the line of duty, preferable the department's flag but not the US flag.

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