I received this question today: Is it normal to fly the American flag at half-staff for other than Americans?
The Answer: No. It isn’t. It isn’t normal to fly it at half-staff for entertainers either. But the President has the power to proclaim that the flag should be flown at halt-staff, though. For whatever reason he so chooses.
The reason for this question and post: Nelson Mandela was a public figure for decades and earned the respect of many around the world for helping to lead South Africa out of a very dark period in history. The flag being flown at half-staff/half-mast is a sign of respect and mourning.