Ohio Law

News and Announcements from the Supreme Court of Ohio and Other Governmental Entities Within the Buckeye State.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Memorial Day: The Flag at Half-Staff

Regrettably, I had someone ask me yesterday why the U.S.
flag displayed at the front of my house was at half-staff. The
quick answer was, of course, that it was Memorial Day. The
below section from the United States Code explains the
mechanics of when and how to display a flag at half-mast:

4 U.S.C. 7(m) states:

(m) The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted
to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff
position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before
it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should
be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the
top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be
flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the
United States Government and the Governor of a State,
territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory.
In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries,
the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential
instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs
or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the
death of a present or former official of the government of any
State, territory, or possession of the United States, the
Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim
that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff. The flag
shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the
President or a former President; 10 days from the day of
death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired
Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the
House of Representatives; from the day of death until
interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme
Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department,
a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory,
or possession; and on the day of death and the following day
for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff
on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed
Forces Day. As used in this subsection--
(1) the term ``half-staff'' means the position of the flag when
it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;
(2) the term ``executive or military department'' means any
agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5, United States
Code; and
(3) the term ``Member of Congress'' means a Senator, a
Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner
from Puerto Rico.



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