When Fly at Half Staff

Discussion in 'Flag Poles' started by EmailPoster, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. EmailPoster

    EmailPoster New Member

    I work in the office at covenant christian school in panama city,...
  2. sarahw

    sarahw Guest

    There are two main holidays when the flag is always flown at half-staff (since we're on land, it's half-staff, not half-mast): Memorial Day and Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15). The flag is also flown at half-staff on Sept. 11.

    Other times the flag may be flown at half-staff are declared by the president or the governor of your state. Some states have the flag lowered when a serviceman or woman from that state dies in combat, while others reserve the honor for former governors, legislators and other notable citizens.

    The US Flag Code says the flag will always be flown at half-staff under the following circumstances:

    One great way to know when the flag should be flown at half-staff beyond this list is to read your local newspaper. The paper should run stories about those notable people who the flag is lowered for.

    One site that offers notifications and lists flag lowerings is the site for Peterson Flags, but it isn't foolproof. Someone has to notify them that the flag is being lowered and for what reason, then it has to be posted on the site. But it can give you an idea of when the flag is being lowered and why.

  3. kkeene

    kkeene New Member

    Tomorrow is Peace Officers Memotial Day (May 15). What are the times
    that the flag should be flown at half staff.
  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hello, Kkeene !

    Welcome to the USA-Flag-Site forums !

    Yes, tomorrow, Friday, May 15th, 2009 is "Peace Officers Memorial Day". In fact this entire week has been designated "Police Week, 2009" by President Barack Obama.

    The official Presidential Proclamation can be found HERE :


    The Presidential Proclamation reads in part :

    The President has been requested to designate May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day in honor of all Federal, State, and local officers killed or disabled in the line of duty, and to designate that week as Police Week in recognition of their service given to the United States (36 U.S.C. 136-37).

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2009, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 10 through May 16, 2009, as Police Week. I call upon all Americans to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also call on Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag at half staff from their homes and businesses on that day [emphasis added].

    Since the proclamation does not mention the "hours", I would presume that we are being encouraged to fly our Flags at half-staff all during daylight hours: from sunrise to sunset (dawn to dusk). Which would be the same protocol for flying our Flags at half-staff for Patriot Day (September 11th).

    The proclamation mentions U.S. Code, Title 36, Section 136 ("Police Officers Memorial Day") and Section 137 ("Police Week"). The United States Code, Title 36, Section 136 (specific to "Police Officers Memorial Day") reads as follows :

    36 USC Sec. 136 01/03/2007

    Subtitle I - Patriotic and National Observances and Ceremonies
    Part A - Observances and Ceremonies

    Sec. 136. Peace Officers Memorial Day

    The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation -
    (1) designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day in honor
    of Federal, State, and local officers killed or disabled in the
    line of duty;
    (2) directing United States Government officials to display the
    flag of the United States at halfstaff on all Government
    buildings on Peace Officers Memorial Day, as provided by section
    7(m) of title 4, United States Code; and
    (3) inviting State and local governments and the people of the
    United States to observe Peace Officers Memorial Day with
    appropriate ceremonies and activities, including the display of
    the flag at halfstaff.

    (Pub. L. 105-225, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1261.)

    The U.S.C., Title 4, Section 7(m) cited (in bold) above reads as follows [NOTE : as sub-section 7(m) is rather long, I have put in bold and italicized what I think are the applicable sentences. ] :


    Sec. 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. 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-staff" means the position of the flag when
    it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the
    (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.

    (Added Pub. L. 105-225, Sec. 2(a), Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1495;
    amended Pub. L. 110-41, Sec. 3, June 29, 2007, 121 Stat. 233.)

    Again, no times or hours are mentioned for the "half-staff" period. Given the wording of the first two sentences of sub-section 7(m) that mentions the raising and lowering of the Flag, it appears as though it is for daylight hours only (sunrise to sunset).

    I hope that helps clarify things for you, Kkeene.

    Thank You for bringing your question to our forums !

    Robin Hickman

    PS. Remember, this Saturday is the third (3rd) Saturday in May so that means it's "Armed Forces Day"! So, if you've got an American Flag, remember to fly it!
  5. Abundantjoy

    Abundantjoy New Member

    Hi Sarah.

    I think that we should protest the cave of the republicans, and how we feel about the activities of our government, by taking the flag down completely! There is no "unity", and Lord knows we are not strong anymore. Pride was once well known, but now our country has let down those who have worked the hardest to keep it a nation under God.

    History of American Flag.

    For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation's strength and unity. It's been a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens. And the American Flag has been a prominent icon in our national history.

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