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When is the U.S. flag supposed to be flown at half-staff?

Flying the U.S. flag at half-staff is a sign of reverence.

The U.S. Code defines when the flag should be flown at half-staff, and in general, it is done so at the discretion of the president following the death of public officials or foreign dignitaries.

President Donald Trump has ordered U.S. flags at half-staff six times since taking office in January, with the first being on April 6 for the burial of former NASA astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn.

The most recent presidential proclamation came on Nov. 6 when Trump ordered flags to half-staff following the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

State governors also have the authority to order the U.S. flag to half-staff following the death of an official of any “state, territory or possession of the United States” or the death of a member of the U.S. armed forces.

The U.S. Code also outlines two days in which the flag is supposed to be flown at half-staff.

Those are Memorial Day, when the flag is to be displayed at half-staff until noon and then raised to full staff, and Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day, according to the U.S. Code.

The flag is also to be flown at half-staff for 30 days in the event of the death of a current or former president and for 10 days in the event of the death of other figures like the sitting vice president, chief justice of U.S. Supreme Court and the speaker of the House.

For an associate justice of the Supreme Court, former vice president or a governor of a state, the flag is to be flown at half-staff from the day of death until internment and on the day of death for members of Congress, according to the U.S. Code.

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Email Joshua Vaughn at jvaughn@cumberlink.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Sentinel_Vaughn.

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Cops & Courts Reporter

Crime & Courts Reporter at The Sentinel.

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