Monday, 05 September 2005

President Bush has issued proclamations that the United States flag be flown at half staff through September 20th to honor the memory of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Another order requires the flag be flown at half-staff through September 13th to honor the death of Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

For people with flags that are attached to a fixed pole, it turns out there is an appropriate way to fly those flags, even though you can't actually move them on the pole. I described that here last year, when several people I know asked me how to fly their fixed flags on their porches at half-staff.

For flags that can't be lowered, such as those on many homes, the American Legion says attaching a black ribbon or streamer to the top of the flag is an acceptable alternative. The ribbon should be the same width as a stripe on the flag and the same length as the flag.

If the flag is hanging on a wall, make three black bows from the same material and place one bow at each of the mounting points.

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Monday, 05 September 2005 20:34:53 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Monday, 05 September 2005 23:34:47 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
It's also proper form for the non-fixed flags, that the flag be raised to FULL staff first, and then lowered to HALF staff. I believe the reverse is true for removing the flag at night (unless properly illuminated).
Tuesday, 06 September 2005 06:13:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Correct, Eric. A flag on a runner (standard) pole should be raised to full staff, held there for a moment, then slowly lowered to half staff. The flag should be removed at sundown unless illuminated all night, by raising it again to full staff, holding it there for a moment, then slowly lowering it from that position as you would normally.

There's some governing law, for those who are interested - USC Title 36, Chapter 10:
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