Editorial: US flags raised, lowered with each setting sunLately it has become quite common to walk into the newsroom to find a press release from the North Dakota governor’s office ordering the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff.
Lately it has become quite common to walk into the newsroom to find a press release from the North Dakota governor’s office ordering the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff.
Lowering the flag is the supreme sign of respect for our country and it depreciates the honor when it is overused.
It has been overused.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple, at the calling of President Barack Obama, Thursday morning directed all state government agencies to fly the U.S. and state flags at half-staff until this evening in honor of four victims of an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya.
On Aug. 8 the governor ordered that the North Dakota and U.S. flag be flown at half-staff for six victims of a shooting — in Wisconsin?
The North Dakota governor has not gone as far as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who in February had flags fly at half-staff after the death of singer Whitney Houston.
Governors should not be allowed to order the U.S. flag to half-staff. The commander in chief should make that decision (though we don’t agree with the decision of Mr. Obama to lower them for the Libyan attack.)
Sept. 11 it was lowered for attacks on the United States in 2001 that killed about 3,000 people. It is acceptable for a catastrophe of this extent.
U.S. code covers flag lowering and includes 30 days on the death of a president or former president and 10 days for the death of the vice president, speaker of the house or chief justice or retired chief justice of the Supreme Court.
Let state governors call for their respective state’s flag to be lowered, not the U.S. flag, which should be treated with highest esteem and honor.
This is not to downplay the magnitude of the deaths of others. However, there needs to be limits.
Publisher Harvey Brock and Editor Jennifer McBride are on The Dickinson Press Editorial Board.