Flying our nation’s flag at half-mast is an old tradition, but one that is also subject to rules. Increasingly, one notices good-faith misunderstandings about these rules, which can be found at National Flag Foundation (NFF).

The pertinent section of the Flag Code says: “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 orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law.”

The National Flag Foundation points out these good-faith misunderstandings 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.

Kent Misegades, West End

Publisher’s Note: This is a letter to the editor, submitted by a reader, and reflects the opinion of the author. The Pilot welcomes letters from readers on its Opinion page, which serves as a public forum. The Pilot is not in the business of suppressing public opinion. We are a forum for community debate, and publish almost every letter we receive. For information on how to make a submission, visit this page: https://www.thepilot.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/

(2) comments

Dan Roman

An opinion, advice and solution searching for a problem.

Kent Misegades

Flags are often seen at half-mast in our area for no reason. Today for instance. If there are no rules for this act of respect, it has lost its meaning.

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