Why Flags Are At Half Staff In US Today

Why Flags Are At Half Staff In US Today

US National Flag to remain half-staffed in several parts of the country. | Representational Image

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The United States National Flag is at half-staff in major parts of the country on Wednesday. Among the states such as Texas, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Colorado, West Virginia, and California, whose Governors signed an executive order demanding the same. The Star-Spangled Banner has been announced to be lowered to its original height. However, it is to be made clear that such a move is taken to observe Peace Officers Memorial Day. The day is dedicated to lauding the services provided by law enforcement. The flags are going to be half-staffed from sunrise to sunset in six states.

This comes days after US President Joe Biden issued a statement last week in which he acknowledged the purpose for keeping the national flags ‘Half-Staff’. “Every day, police officers pin on their shields and walk out the door, rushing into harm’s way to keep the rest of us safe. Being a police officer is more than what they do — it is who they are,” Biden’s proclamation was released by the White House earlier on May 10.

At least sixty-first responders lost their lives on the line of duty in 2023. The Peace Officers Memorial Day is celebrated to remember and honour the police and law enforcement officials. The day is marked every year and is considered an integral part of the Armed Forces Week. According to policeweek.org, police officers from all over the country assemble in Washington, DC, every year to honor and remember policemen who passed away or suffered injuries while performing their duties.

Except if the day falls on the third Saturday of May ie Armed Forces Day, the flags on the display have always been at half-staff on Wednesday. Notably, the tradition of flagging them half-staff was during John F. Kennedy’s presidency when the Democrat leader proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. In addition to it, the Democrat leader also introduced the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week.

The flag is always lowered to half-staff on the days such as Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15), Memorial Day: Last Monday in May (5/27/2024), Patriot Day (Sept 11), and National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (Dec 7). “Half-staff” is the preferred term in presidential decrees when the flag level is lowered. On the other hand, the “half-mast” term is used outside of the US.

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