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Why Are Flags at Half Mast?
Have you ever noticed that flags are often at half-mast in your countries or united nations? Wonder why are flags at half mast? Let’s take a look at the answer.
The tradition of lowering flags to half-mast as a sign of mourning dates back to the Royal Navy in England. During the 17th century, ships were common to fly flags at full mast when sailing in friendly territories and half-mast when passing through hostile areas. The flag was lowered during battle and then raised full after it was over.
In 1612, Captain John Smith (of Pocahontas fame) was captured by Turks and held for ransom. When word of his capture reached England, his crew lowered their flags to half-mast—a sign of mourning at sea—and kept them there until his release or death’s announcement. (The Turks eventually freed Smith)
The practice began spreading to other ships and eventually made it to land-based armies. Over time, it became a symbol of mourning for anyone who had served in the active-duty military, but its use has expanded.
Today, government buildings worldwide lower flags to half-mast in honor of political leaders and citizens who have died in service to their country (such as police officers) or on special days like Memorial Day.
Why Are Flags at Half Mast?
A flag at half-mast refers to flying flags at less than half staff immediately. This is done as a sign of respect or mourning for someone who has died or as an emergency signal that there is danger.
Flag status is often flown at half staff until noon (in which case they are raised) and again lowered to half staff until sunset on Memorial Day to honor those who have lost their lives while serving in the military force. In addition, we may lower them on specific days, such as September 11 or April 15 (Patriots Day), when tragedies occur.
According to the US Flag Code, United States flags flow at half-mast as a sign of respect and mourning.
American Flags or any state flags like Nebraska flags are lowered to half-mast on Memorial Day (the last Monday in May), Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15), Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7), and Patriot Day (September 11).
Flags are also lowered at half-mast by executive order of the President or Governor after the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries or to mark tragic events.
Why Are Flags at Half Mast in Ohio?
Half masting is a sign of respect and mourning. When the flags are flying at half-mast in the White House, it means that something terrible has happened, and we’re all mourning the loss of life.
We’re sad for the people who lost their lives, and authority thinks about their loved ones and family. Authority vested as a tribute to the life of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright served as Secretary, Gov. Mike DeWine had ordered all united stated ambassador and state flags of Ohio on public buildings, state buildings, and grounds to be flown at half-staff until sunset on March 27.
According to a press release from governor DeWine’s office, flags had been lowered on all public buildings in the state of Ohio on December 1, 2019, in honor of the life of former Ohio attorney general Betty Montgomery.
Why Are Flags at Half Mast in Illinois?
If you’re a resident of Illinois and you’ve recently noticed flags flying at half-mast, it could be because of these reasons.
The state governor can order the flags to fly at half-mast to mark a tragic death or an event that has caused a significant loss. This often happens in light of a tragedy in the state, such as a natural disaster or mass shooting.
National Day/Week/Month of Mourning
Flags fly at half-mast on National Days of Mourning and National Weeks of Mourning for 30 days following the death of the President, Vice President, Chief Justice, or Speaker of the House. Flags must also fly at half-mast on the day after a current or former Supreme Court Justice dies. They may also fly at half-mast on Memorial Day if they are also flying at half-mast for another reason.
When September 11 occurs on the weekend, flags are flown at half-mast from the Thursday before through the Sunday after September 11 to remember those who died in 2001 and those killed since then because of 9/11-related illnesses.
Why Are Flags at Half Mast in California?
The reason why flags are currently at half-mast in California is that someone has died.
It happens all the time. When someone dies, flags go down. It’s just a thing that happens whenever someone passes away.
The exact reason why we do this is unknown and lost to history. No one knows why flags are lowered when someone dies. But it’s a thing that we do, so it’s something that we continue doing.
While it’s not unheard of for flags in California to be at half-mast, it’s uncommon.
Governor Jerry Brown ordered flags to fly at half-mast until sunset on November 2.
“Anne and I are deeply saddened by this senseless attack and send our heartfelt condolences to the victims and their loved ones,” Governor Brown said Monday. “We join all Californians in mourning those killed and praying for the injured.”
Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s because the state is deep in mourning over the passing of an extraordinary person:
After battling cancer, Clementine, a red panda at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, passed away. She was only four years old, and she’ll be sorely missed.
Zoo officials say they’re “devastated” by the loss of this sweet creature.
In honor of her life and remembering all the joy she brought to people’s lives in California, the flags are flying at half-mast.
Why Are Flags at Half Mast in Texas?
Flags at half-mast in Texas are to honor the memory of George Floyd, a resident of Houston. After being detained by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he died on Memorial Day.
Governor Greg Abbott ordered to lower the Texas flag to half-mast on Monday. The Governor called Floyd’s death “a horrific tragedy.”
“Justice must be served for George Floyd,” Abbott said. “His death will not be in vain.”
Floyd is the latest victim of police brutality in America, and the incident has sparked outrage across the country. The officer who knelt on his neck was fired but not arrested.
Flags are at half-mast in Texas to honor the victims of a deadly shooting in Odessa and Midland, Texas.
Police killed the shooter. Here’s what we know about the killer so far:
- People who knew him described him as a “weird” person obsessed with guns and mass shootings.
- He was fired from his job for failing a drug test on Saturday, September 1.
- The FBI investigates whether he posted messages online to a defied convention, threatening his former employer.
- He was arrested on an assault charge in 2001, but the case was dismissed after completing anger management classes.
Why Are Flags at Half Mast in Colorado?
If you have been paying attention to flags lately, you may have noticed that most flags in Colorado are hanging at half-mast. This is a sign of respect for the victims of the Boulder shooting on March 22.
When a tragedy strikes, we fly our flags at half-mast to honor those who have died and show our support for their families. We all know how difficult it can be to experience loss, and we want grieving people to know that they’re not alone during this time of pain.
Flags fly at half staff Friday until the funeral services have been held for the deceased, which means they will remain in this position until Friday, March 26.
Final Words – Why Are Flags at Half Mast?
Flags are lowered to half-mast to signify mourning. This is a tradition that has been around for hundreds of years. It’s often seen at funerals for those in positions of power, whether the President or a leader of a church congregation. However, in some situations may not be appropriate to lower the other flags to half masts, such as on election day or certain holidays.