Who Died?


Strange question, but I often find myself asking Andy this question, "who died?".  There are many days when I am driving around and I see the American Flag flying at half mast.  My understanding from childhood is that the flag is flown at half mast when someone important dies.  But it really does seem to be flying low much more often now.

So I did some research to find out the rules of flying the flag at half mast.  There are set days that the American flag is to be flown at half mast.  They are Peace Officers Memorial Day, Memorial Day (only the flag is to be raised at noon on this day), Patriot Day (9/11) and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

The other days where the flag is flying half mast are to honor a person who has died.  Most of these persons are government officials.  The number of days the flag flies low is determined by the office that was held by the official.

Other citizens can also have this honor but it must be ordered by the President or the Governor of the state.  Examples of deceased citizens that might be honored with by lowering the Flag to half-staff include local religious leaders, youth leaders, honored teachers or sports coaches, local politicians, or a local hero (http://www.gettysburgflag.com/flyflaghalfmast.php).

 Currently, the American Flag is flying at half mast in Pennsylvania.  My guess was that this is to honor the recently deceased and much loved football coach Joe Paterno.  After a few moments of searching online, I confirmed this was the reason for the flag being flown at half mast.

I'm not sure how the average citizen, schools and businesses keep up with the proper flag flying etiquette. And I guess I'm still going to keep asking Andy, "who died?".

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