The way people fly the American flag these days is a free for all. It’s the Wild, Wild West out there with everyone making up their own rules. For example, many people who don’t know the rules of the U.S. Flag Code wrongly assume they have the authority to order the flag to half-mast. They don’t. So again, here are some of the rules.
Rule one: The President may order the flag flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory.
Rule two: The Flag Code authorizes a governor to half-staff the US flag upon the death of a present or former official of the government of the state, or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from that state who dies while serving on active duty.
Rule three: Mayors do not have the authority to order the flag lowered to half-staff. The only exception is the mayor of Washington DC.
Rule four: Owners or managers of businesses do not have the authority to lower the flag for a deceased employee.
This is not to criticize or embarrass anyone, but rather to head off a growing trivialization of this memorial salute, and to preserve the dignity and significance of flying the U.S. flag at half-staff.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that’s my Point of View.
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