Being of Two Minds and Some Clarification

DrillMaster Commentary, Honor Guard, Instructional Leave a Comment

Half-staff/half-mast

Half-staff/half-mast

I’ve been writing over the last several year. Writing quite a bit. I never thought that I’d actually on day be a writer let alone an author, but, here I am and I thoroughly enjoy what I do because I help to educate others and pass along the knowledge that I have obtained from many sources. Those sources have been people, the Flag Code and service manuals for drill and ceremonies, etiquette, flags and banners, etc.

One thing that has bothered me for several years is info surrounding having the American flag at half staff. Read these two articles as a preface to the following The American Flag at Half-Staff. and The US and POW/MIA at Half-Staff.

Here is my take:
The American flag has the honor of being lowered into the mourning position. State, territory flags receive that same honor, but organizational (business) flags do not. It is an honor position and no other flag should be lowered because no other flag receives that honor. It’s the same with draping a flag over a casket: the US, state or territory flag is draped, none other.

The other point of view:
No flag should be higher than the American flag. Period.

My response:OK, I got it; I fully understand this, however… The mourning position is special. Period. There is no reason to lower any other flag.

Half-staff, half-mast

Half-staff, half-mast

I changed the wording in the first-listed article after a firefighter friend of mine and I had a nice discussion about it. I saw his point and did not want to pass along bad information, hence the change. I just received a note from another friend of mine asking for my clarification and that is why I am writing this. If two people have contacted me, I am quite sure that at least 100 others have noticed the discrepancy. I will make sure that all information is consistent in the “no flag is to be higher” but I will also ensure that my take on this issue is spelled out. I would really appreciate more clarification in the official guidance to help Americans understand. Maybe I can do something about that.

I welcome your responses to this and all articles that I have written. May your days be blessed!

Picture at top right courtesy of socialdailyphoto.com. Picture at left courtesy kellog.edu

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