Flag displayed at Half Staff on Memorial Day

 

On Monday, May 25th, flags across the country will be raised and then lowered to half-staff. And although many are aware that displaying the flag at half-staff is a sign of respect, few understand that Memorial Day has a specific protocol. According to the US Dept of Veterans Affairs, “on Memorial Day the flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation’s battle heroes”.

 

Home of Heroes gives the following directions:

On Memorial Day the flag is flown at half-staff only until NOON.  The proper sequence for displaying the flag on this holiday we have set aside to remember the more than one million men and women who have died in defense of our Nation is:

  1. In the morning the flag should be attached to the halyard and raised briskly to the top of the flag pole, then slowly lowered to the mid-way point of the pole.
  2. At noon the flag should be raised to the top of the flag pole.
  3. At the end of the day the flag should be slowly and ceremoniously lowered and removed.

Given the long and storied history of Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, it is important to adhere to the traditions that have been nearly 150 years in the making. Live Science shares more about the evolution of the holiday:

Honoring the dead, especially the war dead, played a key role in post-Civil War America, said David Blight, a professor of history at Yale University and author… The celebration of this holiday, which had gained an official designation on May 30, 1868, began falling out of practice in the beginning of the 20th century, but then reentered popular practice during World War I. Then, after World War II, advocacy by veterans’ groups led to the creation of a separate holiday for living military personnel in the form of Veteran’s Day, Blight said. Thus, Memorial Day became a day for exclusively celebrating the sacrifice of those who fell in battle, leaving only the mid-day flag-raising to signal hope beyond death, and honor those who survived battle.

Now often considered to be the official start of summer, and the perfect time to hit the beach, begin summer travel, or enjoy a backyard get-together, Memorial Day still has a deep and powerful meaning to many. No matter how you choose to celebrate the holiday, take a moment to remember the more than a million men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the continuation of our great nation.

From our DeWitt Insurance family to yours, have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. And as always, thank you for your continued support and loyalty!

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More than just a symbol of our nation, the flag is an icon of patriotism and is often used to honor and show respect to our veterans and national heroes, especially on holidays such as Memorial Day.

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Aged railings found near a burial site for confederate soldiers in Guyton, GA.

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Tucked away in the woods, a flag is found near an aged headstone. Let not one be forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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