When to Fly the American Flag at Half-Staff

flag 2With the Fourth of July around the corner you can’t help but think about Old Glory. Here are some interesting facts about when to fly the United States flag at half-staff.

The customary dates to fly the flag at half-staff are:

Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15th (unless that day is also Armed Forces Day) (sunrise to sunset)

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Memorial Day, last Monday in May (sunrise to noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset)

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Patriot Day, September 11th (sunrise to sunset)

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, December 7th (sunrise to sunset)

There are some exceptions to these customary dates, though, when the President of the United States directs that the flag be flown from the half-staff position upon the death of great individuals or current or former government officials, as a mark of respect to their memory.

For example: On 911, for all our fallen heroes.

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For flags that can’t be lowered such as those on many homes, a black ribbon or streamer can be attached to the top of the flag pole and is acceptable practice.

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In the early days of our country, no regulations existed for flying the flag at half-staff and, as a result, there were many conflicting policies.  But on March 1, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower issued a proclamation on the proper times.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July. Next week more on Old Glory.

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