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Home / News / Columns / Oh, so NOW the media is concerned about the American flag

Oh, so NOW the media is concerned about the American flag

As the president prepares to announce the successful completion of a historic renegotiation of NAFTA with Mexico, the media is talking about…a flag.

After Senator John McCain’s death on Saturday, the White House immediately ordered the nation’s flags lowered to half-staff. Today, the flag has been raised to full-staff.

memorial gettysberg protest

By Dwight Widaman, Editor

That’s just not enough for some but, apparently, is exactly what the U.S. Code requires.

Raising of the flag today surprised the media who seemed to look for a nefarious meaning behind the action. Could it be a parting shot from the President towards McCain, who to the disappointment of the president and fellow Republicans, voted against repealing ObamaCare? Was the president dissing the Senate?

Nope. If the president is guilty of anything, it is following the letter of the law when it comes to respect for the flag and how it is carried out.

In fact, the United States Flag Code dictates everything about how the flag is to be used including how it is displayed. According to the code, when a flag is scheduled to be flown at half-staff, it first must be raised to the top of the pole and then lowered. This is an extra step as it is not just randomly moved to the halfway mark.

Following the death of principal government leaders, including senators, representatives and governors, any president can order the flag to be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect. The code actually dictates the length of time the flag remains at half-staff and that is based on the person’s title:

  • President/former president of the United States: 30 days from the day of death
  • Vice president, chief justice, retired chief justice or speaker of the House of Representatives: 10 days from the day of they died
  • Associate justice of the Supreme Court, secretary of an executive or military department, former vice president or governor: from the day they died until burial

Then we come to the lowly members of Congress. For them the flag is to be flown at half-staff on the day of death and the following day.

So why all the fuss by liberal commentators looking for something to be critical?

Senator McCain died on Saturday, and the White House ordered the flag be lowered half-staff that day. The flag was returned to full-staff on Monday.

That falls squarely within the requirements and guidelines of the code.

If it were any other president, the action would have been met with a yawn by the media. It is clear the media will use anything to attack the President even on a day with a record-breaking stock market and announcement of a successful treaty with Mexico they said would never happen.

And the nation’s major media outlets wonder why they have become irrelevant in the minds of the American people.

Run that up your pole.