Tony Lem Flagpoles and Flags
 Home   Commercial   Residential   Other Pole Styles   Flags   Banners   Gallery   Flag Facts   
 

Flag Etiquette - Displaying the Flag at Half-staff

 
Flag etiquette - General questions
Flag Etiquette - Display and Other Issues
How and When to fly the U.S. Flag at Half Staff
U.S. Flag code
 
 

The flag may be flown at half-staff by Presidential proclamation or by your state governor.

On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon. Your flag can be flown at half-staff upon reliable information that a past or present President or Vice-President has died.

By statute, the President is requested to issue each year a proclamation requiring government buildings to half-staff the flag and inviting all the people of the US to do so as well, on the following days:

  • May 15, Peace Officers Memorial Day
  • Sept. 11, Patriot Day
  • Dec. 7, National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Governors of the several U.S. States or territories are authorized by federal law to order all U.S. and State flags in their jurisdiction flown at half-staff as a mark of respect for a state official or resident who has died. Since a Governor's Executive Order affects only his or her State, not the entire country, these orders are distinguished from Presidential proclamations.

 

Displaying the flag at half staff

When the flag is flown at the half-staff position, it should be be raised and lowered according to the following procedure:

  • When the flag is hoisted in the morning, it should be raised to the peak (top of the pole) for a few moments, then lowered to the mid-way point on the staff.
  • When the flag is removed at the end of the day, to not lower it from the half-staff position.  First the person(s) detailed to lower the flag should raise it to the peak of the staff, then slowly lower it from that point.

When your US Flag is displayed on a short staff or on an indoor flag set where it cannot be lowered to half-staff the proper way to indicate mourning is by tying a black bow above a full-staffed US flag.

Displaying the flag at half staff on MEMORIAL DAY

On Memorial Day the flag is flown at half-staff only until NOON.  The proper sequence for displaying the flag on this holiday we have set aside to remember the more than one million men and women who have died in defense of our Nation is:

  1. In the morning the flag should be attached to the halyard and raised briskly to the top of the flag pole, then slowly lowered to the mid-way point of the pole.
  2. At noon the flag should be raised to the top of the flag pole.
  3. At the end of the day the flag should be slowly and ceremoniously lowered and removed.

Displaying the flag at half staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day

In 1962 the date of May 15th was designated as Peace Officer's Memorial Day, "in honor of the Federal, State, and municipal officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty.  On this day the flag should be flown at half-staff for the full day, unless May 15th happens to ALSO be the third Saturday in May...ARMED FORCES DAY.  In the rare occurrences when both holidays fall on the same date, the flag should be flown at the peak.

Displaying the flag at half staff as a symbol of Respect

Upon the death of great individuals or current or former government officials, the President of the United States can direct that the flag be flown from the half-staff position "as a mark of respect to their  memory."   When respect is thus shown upon the death of current or former United States government officials, the flag is flown at half staff according to the following:

  • 30 Days from the death of the President or a former President
  • 10 Days from the day of death of
    •             The Vice President
    •             A sitting or former Supreme Court Chief Justice
    •             The Speaker of the House of Representatives
  • From the day of death to the day of Internment of:
    •             An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
    •             The Secretary of an Executive or Military Department
    •             A Former Vice President
    •             The Governor of a State, territory, or possession of the United States
  • On the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress

Whenever a present or former official of State Government dies, the Governor of that State can direct that the United States Flag be flown at half-staff in respect to their memory. 

Is the flag only flown at half-staff in respect to the memory of government officials?

NO.  The president can direct that the flag be flown at half-staff as a symbol of respect for great Americans who are noted for their non-government service and achievement.

Is the flag only flown at half-staff in respect to the memory of U.S. citizens?

NO.  The president can direct that the flag be flown at half-staff as a symbol of respect for other officials and foreign dignitaries. 

 
 
  761 Union Avenue - Campbell, CA 95008-5503
Phone: 408-377-5959 - Fax: 408-377-0425 - Email: tonylemusa@aol.com

WE DO NOT ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS
We are NOT a contractor