A Great Honor Diluted
Over the past couple decades, we’ve seen our nation’s flag flown at half-staff on almost a weekly basis. Often, we don’t know why. This much is certain: flying the flag at half-staff so often diminishes the gesture.
An honor once reserved for those who have given their last full measure of devotion to the United States of America, is now given to non U.S. citizens, low-level government officials, victims of criminal acts and anyone else an elected official feels might gain them re-election points.
Sending a Confused Message
By the current standard, we could fly our flag at half-staff almost every day. However, it then begins to symbolize something else. It depicts a loss of respect for the values America represents. It pays tribute, not to heroes, but to the unwell mind that commits a heinous act and causes a powerful nation to bow its head in remorse and shame.
Title 4 of the U. S. Code
Title 4 of the U.S. Code is the segment of our legal code that deals with flag protocol. Specifically, it is paragraph (m) of Section 7 that is at issue. This lengthy section embodies a 1954 Presidential Proclamation which establishes complex rules for when the flag can be ordered to half-staff, by whom, and for how long.
The Solution is Simple
It is for the citizen to honor the flag, not the flag to honor a citizen. We need to find another way to pay tribute to worthy citizens on their passing. Paragraph (m) should be replaced with the simple language that is shown below:
The U. S. flag will be flown at half-staff from dawn until noon on Memorial Day only. This will be done to honor all those members of our armed forces who have fallen in defense of their nation. On all other days, public officials at any level, as well as private citizens, may honor the passing of Americans of fine repute by the following procedure. As the flag is raised, it may be paused at half-staff for a period sufficient to allow those present to render an appropriate tribute.
The flag will then be briskly raised to full staff and secured for the day.
Restore the Honor
If you agree with this proposed change to the Flag Code, if you are tired of seeing Old Glory flown at half-staff, sign the petition for change and then phone or email our Commander-in-Chief and tell the President to restore
the meaning of this special gesture.
Contact The White House: