Thread: half staff flag

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    Default half staff flag

    I see at different times the flag at half staff. How do you get this information?

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    (5) When should the flag be flown at half-staff?

    The US Code only says, "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, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff... The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day."
    * Bold and underline added by me. (This highlighted section is what most local governments, fire departments and many other groups use to justify flying their flags at half-staff.)


    This information is referenced from the follwoing site:

    http://www.treefort.org/~rgrogan/web/flagfaq.htm#5

    Another good site is:

    http://www.usa-flag-site.org
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    Additionally you can fly your flag at half staff to honor anyone you would like, when it comes down to it, it is your flag to be flown how you feel is fitting.
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    This comes from the American Legion web page on how and when to display the American Flag. http://www.legion.org/


    My American Flag is flown year round 24 hours a day, with lights shown on her during darkness.




    The Flag Code - Time and Occasions for Display
    § 6. Time and occasions for display
    (a) It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flag staffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

    (b) The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

    (c) The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all weather flag is displayed.

    (d) The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on

    New Year's Day - January 1
    Inauguration Day - January 20
    Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday - third Monday in January
    Lincoln's Birthday - February 12
    Washington's Birthday - third Monday in February
    Easter Sunday - (variable)
    Mother's Day - second Sunday in May
    Armed Forces Day - third Saturday in May
    Memorial Day (half-staff until noon) - last Monday in May
    Flag Day - June 14
    Independence Day - July 4
    Labor Day - first Monday - September 1 - 7
    Columbus Day - second Monday in October
    Navy Day - October 27
    Veterans Day - November 11
    Thanksgiving Day - fourth Thursday in November
    Christmas Day - December 25
    Other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
    Birthdays of States (date of admission)
    State holidays

    (e) The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution.

    (f) The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.

    (g) The flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.


    Full Version of Flag Code - DOC
    Full Version of Flag Code - PDF
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    Our department has several flags. Even at half mast, the US flag should always be the highest of the others, then the state flag, then the city/jurisdictional flag....I think that was in a similar code to what has been posted, as well.
    Remember KQJ943

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    Sorry Dennis, but the law is quite clear, the flag may only be flown at half-staff per the order of the President or your state's Governor.

    I may own my FD t-shirt and work shirt, but I would never wear them to go bar hopping, it would be disrespectfull to my brothers and the department, same with the flag.

    If you fly the flag at half-staff any time you want then it denegrates the significance of half-staff. It shows great disrespect towards the colors.
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    Originally posted by Fire304
    Sorry Dennis, but the law is quite clear, the flag may only be flown at half-staff per the order of the President or your state's Governor.

    I may own my FD t-shirt and work shirt, but I would never wear them to go bar hopping, it would be disrespectfull to my brothers and the department, same with the flag.

    If you fly the flag at half-staff any time you want then it denegrates the significance of half-staff. It shows great disrespect towards the colors.
    There is no law or punishment that keeps you from flying your flag as you deem approriate. The flag code is nothing but a guidance, that fact has been clarified many times by the courts after local jurisdictions have tried to prosecute folks for flying flags as they deemed appropriate. Until/unless a Flag Amendment to the Constitution is passed, signed and ratified by 2/3rds of the states, that will be the way it will always be.

    If you think that someone lowering THEIR flag to half staff to honor the memory a friend, relative, or anyone else they admired is disrespectful, that is your right, but it is also their right to do it. A military commander can order flags under his command lowered when he sees fit, and it is done fairly often. Again, the Flag Code provides guidance not an enforceable rules.

    One example, I feel it is fitting and totally respectful to lower a flag at a fire station on the day of burial for any member, active or retired, of that station.

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    Originally posted by DennisTheMenace


    A military commander can order flags under his command lowered when he sees fit, and it is done fairly often. Again, the Flag Code provides guidance not an enforceable rules.

    One example, I feel it is fitting and totally respectful to lower a flag at a fire station on the day of burial for any member, active or retired, of that station.

    Semper Fi,
    Dennis
    Hey buddy, you are wrong as you can be about a military commander having the authority to lower that American Flag as he see fit! The American Flag on all United States military posts, buildings and such, is only lower to half staff upon directives form the President of the United States. We had a guy who was killed on post while preforming his duties in 1959, and the post commander wanted to lower the Flag. He was told and ordered not to unless he had permission form the President.

    Yes it is your flag and you can fly it, or wave it, but the flag code says how and when. You may disagree and I really don't care. I fought for the right for the American Flag to be respected!

    The fire chief cannot say that the American Flag be flown at half staff. He may and can order department and city or county flags to be flown at half staff, only only with permission from the mayor, city manager or who ever runs the city ot town.

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    US Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 7, Paragraph M, outlines the law regarding the display of the flag at half staff. It does not specify penalties and to date no penalties have been applied to violation of the law, but make no mistake, it is the law.

    So by your standard, if I choose to fly the flag at half staff on Nov 3rd because my choice for president lost, you'd have no problem with that? What if I choose to fly it at half staff when my hampster dies? How about if I choose to fly half staff on November 10th to mourn all those "innocents" killed by the organization that celebrates its birthday that day? Would that be OK?

    Go ahead, fly "your" flag as you choose, but by doing so you are engaging in the same sort of behavior as the war protestors who insist on displaying the flag upsidedown. They are disrespecting the colors, plain and simple.

    Sorry if I am being harsh, I too have fought for that flag and proper display is a pet peave of mine.

    Semper Fi
    Last edited by Fire304; 10-26-2004 at 11:16 PM.
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    Originally posted by allineedisu


    Hey buddy, you are wrong as you can be about a military commander having the authority to lower that American Flag as he see fit! The American Flag on all United States military posts, buildings and such, is only lower to half staff upon directives form the President of the United States. We had a guy who was killed on post while preforming his duties in 1959, and the post commander wanted to lower the Flag. He was told and ordered not to unless he had permission form the President.

    Yes it is your flag and you can fly it, or wave it, but the flag code says how and when. You may disagree and I really don't care. I fought for the right for the American Flag to be respected!

    The fire chief cannot say that the American Flag be flown at half staff. He may and can order department and city or county flags to be flown at half staff, only only with permission from the mayor, city manager or who ever runs the city ot town.
    You are wrong, the President is not the only one to give the authority to lower flags, CINCPAC does it on occasion for flags in that part of the world, on Oahu in particular. It was done for a lost 1st Sgt of mine in 1991. Commanders have the authority to pay respect with flags at half mast at their discretion. You gonna tell all those commanders in Iraq that lower their flags during services after they lose troops that they are wrong?

    Once again the Flag Code requires nothing, if it did there would be penalties involved with not following it. But the Courts have said that is un-Constitutional and against the First Amendment. The code is only official suggestions on how to display and treat the flag. If you really went by a strict interpretation of the Flag Code, every soldier in Iraq would be breaking the code by having the flag on their right sleave rather then on their left or on their left breast, as it is supposed to be worn on uniforms as close as possible to the heart.

    You and I fought for the respect of no one, we fought for the RIGHTS of everyone. Everyone has the right to fly their flag as they see fitting until a Flag Protection Amendment is passed, ratified, and new laws are written.

    Semper Fi,
    Dennis
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    Originally posted by Fire304
    US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 7, Paragraph M, outlines the law regarding the display of the flag at half staff. It does not specify penalties and to date no penalties have been applied to violation of the law, but make no mistake, it is the law.

    So by your standard, if I choose to fly the flag at half staff on Nov 3rd because my choice for president lost, you'd have no problem with that? What if I choose to fly it at half staff when my hampster dies? How about if I choose to fly half staff on November 10th to mourn all those "innocents" killed by the organization that celebrates its birthday that day? Would that be OK?

    Go ahead, fly "your" flag as you choose, but by doing so you are engaging in the same sort of behavior as the war protestors who insist on displaying the flag upsidedown. They are disrespecting the colors, plain and simple.

    Sorry if I am being harsh, I too have fought for that flag and proper display is a pet peave of mine.

    Semper Fi
    You have the right to fly your flag however you want. Are the guys on the National Mall at the Vietnam Memorial who stand 24/7 vigil crimminal for flying their flag upside down in protest? They are not in personal distress and in need of assistance, are they wrong and disrespecting the flag?

    Other then the freedom of my family and fellow American's the only tangible symbols that I fought for are those two papers written in 1776 and 1789, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Those are what symbolize real freedom! As a Marine and a guy born on the 4th of July, seeing the flag fly gives me the tingles still, but it is not what I fought for, I fought for a whole lot more then some red, white and blue fabric.

    Semper Fi,
    Dennis
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    Dennis, is your tag line from Tim Russert's book?

    Yes, military commanders who lower the flag to half staff w/o approval of the POTUS are violating the law.

    Yes, the vets who display the flag upside down and are not in distress are violating the law also (in two ways), but as I noted, there is no punishment applied to this law.

    The "close to the heart" line (1USC4 S 8.J)is about lapel pins, not patches. Interestingly enough there is no regulation for exactly how to wear a patch (such as do you wear the union forward or to the left as viewed).

    In order to be included in the US Code a law must be enacted by Congress and signed by the President. If it were not a law it would be included in the Federal Register not the USC.

    I fought for the USA, and the flag is the most visible symbol of this great nation. The Declaration and the Constitution are extremely important symbols of our nation, but they are not displayed all over the world for all to see. I know I am fighting an uphill battle, but I will persist.

    http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/title4/chapter1_.html
    Last edited by Fire304; 10-26-2004 at 11:17 PM.
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    the vets who display the flag upside down and are not in distress are violating the law also (in two ways), but as I noted, there is no punishment applied to this law.
    Fire304 - Could you expand on this explanition? I am not sure I understand why ANYONE would fly our flag upside down. I was very angry the first time I saw this.
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    Yep, the quote is his dad's. Met them at church the other day and just happaned to have the book in my car, so I got it and they both signed it! Really good folks..........for being Dems


    The 1976 amendments to the Code recognized the wearing of a flag patch or pin on the left side (near the heart) of uniforms of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. Some where in the code that when the flag is painted or afixed to a moving object, like a plane, car, truck, tank, person, etc the union should be to the front as if flying on a pole. probably in the 1976 amendments since the first Space Shuttles depected it as such, but the early Air Force Ones did not(at least that conclusion is by DennisLogic)
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    Originally posted by sbfdco1


    Fire304 - Could you expand on this explanition? I am not sure I understand why ANYONE would fly our flag upside down. I was very angry the first time I saw this.
    The vets say that their comrads that were left behind as MIA (some still grasp at straws in the beliefs of POW's too) are in distress, and that uncared for vets are in distress as well.
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    As with every one posting in here, if not the way Dennis is thinking, then we are all persumed to be wrong. I have never met any one that was so strong in their thoughts that they can not relax and agree.

    I may not be right all the time, but the I am not wrong a lot.

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    Originally posted by allineedisu
    As with every one posting in here, if not the way Dennis is thinking, then we are all persumed to be wrong. I have never met any one that was so strong in their thoughts that they can not relax and agree.

    I may not be right all the time, but the I am not wrong a lot.
    What type of American rolls over just to agree and go against what they believe is right? If the world just accepted the majority opinion as the final truth Columbus would have fallen off the edge of earth and slavery and Jim Crowe laws would still exist in this country(those two were ended thanks to the leadership of Republicans). This is a nation built on debate, and debate I shall! Don't take it personally and I won't either, we have different life experiances and we can all learn from each other. Even if I disagree with you, I can only grow from seeing other view points. (even if the other one is wrong )

    Semper Fi!
    Last edited by DennisTheMenace; 10-26-2004 at 06:07 PM.
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    Originally posted by Fire304
    [BInterestingly enough there is no regulation for exactly how to wear a patch (such as do you wear the union forward or to the left as viewed).[/B]
    Not federal law, but here is how it should be done regardless--as you've probably noticed, it's how I wear mine:

    "The International Civil Aviation organization decreed that flags painted on aircraft must face the direction of the flight, so as to be aerodynamically and aesthetically correct. It was also recommend that flags or flag decals on vehicles and flag patches on uniforms be so oriented. The decals on military vehicles now show the union (stars) heading into the direction of travel. That means that flag decals on the right (passenger side) of military vehicles show the union on the upper right side of the flag.

    Flag Patches on US Army Uniforms

    Flag patches affixed to right shoulders of uniforms are reversed, so that the union (stars) faces forward. The reversal was inspired by the age-old practice of carrying flags into battle. When fastened to a standard, the American flag's union (stars) is always closest to the pole. A flag bearer rushing into the fray, then, would naturally lead with the stars.

    The official Army guidelines on the donning of flag patches add that the forward-facing stars give "the effect of the flag flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward." That means that every soldier is also a flag bearer, leading the headlong charge into battle. "
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    Originally posted by sbfdco1 Fire304 - Could you expand on this explanition?
    Flying one's colors upside down is an old maritime tradition where a ship requesting urgent assistance would set its ensign upside down and all vessels, regardless of the situation (like war) would render help (as you'll note, the French flag is always displayed upsidedown ). It was also used to signify a vessel captured, so a US vessel captured by the British in 1812 would have been sailed to Halifax with an upsidedown US ensign, sometimes flying under a British ensign. While it is no longer officially recognized as a distress signal by international law, (as is "Mayday," red flares, S-O-S, etc.,) in our own laws it is: 1USC4 Sec.8.a.
    The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except
    as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or
    property.
    In recent years some protestors (mostly anti-Americans such as Dems and Commies) have taken to showing the flag upside down because they (or the nation) are "in distress." Its a load a BS as far as I am concerned, I've been tempted to dump a PW on them to help mitigate their "distress."

    As such the people who do this are violating the law in one part by intentionally showing a false distress signal (which is punishable by law).

    They are also intentionally violating flag protocal which is against the US Code, but as Dennis noted there is no penalty set out in the law.

    14 I agree with your interpretation and raised an objection to our backwards flags when I first saw them, so did C-4, but the man who matters the most on this issue disagrees so the two of us walked away with our tails between our legs, broken, but confident that we were right!

    Dennis, all I can say is AMEN Brother! Just because I don't agree with out doesn't mean I don't like you!
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    Originally posted by Fire304
    The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except
    as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or
    property.
    Except in California, where to signify an emergency you raise an inverted state flag... JUST to be a little different from the rest of the world.

    Right Bou?



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    Here in the Indy area, anytime a Police Officer or FireFighter dies in the line of duty, All Police Stations and Fire Stations that I know of lower the flag to half. The last two times a Police Officer was killed in the line of duty the Mayor ordered Flags to halfmast, out of respect for those Officers.

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    Been following the 'discussion' a little and I can see that both sides think they are right. Heres my two cents... there are probly rules on how the flag should/will/wont/can be treated... however I am sure G-dub or any other official would be the last person to reprimand an individual or department for half-staffin their flag in honor of a fallen brother, or officer or anyone serving alongside us.

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