Fly flags at half-staff through December 18, to honor victims of Connecticut shootings

President Barack Obama issued this proclamation earlier today, calling on Americans to remember the victims of the shooting in Connecticut, and fly flags at half staff through sunset, December 18, in the victims’ honor:

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

December 14, 2012

Presidential Proclamation — Honoring the Victims of the Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut


– – – – – – –



As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, December 18, 2012. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.


The Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, following the practice established by his predecessor, Jennifer Granholm, notified Michiganders of orders on flying the flag through an e-mail list-serv.  He’s Republican, she’s a Democrat.  Michigan honors each Michigan soldier killed with half-staff flags.

Does your state’s governor offer a similar service?  If not, why not call and ask that they do?

This note came from Michigan today:

Flag Honors banner

President Obama has ordered the flag of the United States lowered to half-staff until sunset on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 to honor the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, CT.

“The senseless acts of violence witnessed today in Newtown are unthinkable,” said Snyder. “My sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the parents and entire families forever impacted by this tragic event.”

We have included a PDF of the president’s official proclamation.

Thank you,

Executive Office of Governor Rick Snyder

State of Michigan


Thank you for subscribing to updates from Governor Rick Snyder. We welcome questions and appreciate comments at our Contact Us page. However, please do not reply to this email. This is an unmonitored address, and replies to this email cannot be responded to or read.

QUESTIONS? Office: 517-335-7858


Remember, flag etiquette suggests that the flag should be briskly raised to the full staff position, then slowly lowered to half-staff.  If your flagpole is less than 30 feet high, you may want to be sure the flag’s lower grommet is at the half-way point, and not the top grommet.

Stamford CT Fire Dept puts flags at half staff on 9/11/2012

Stamford, Connecticut, Fire Department Honor Guard puts the U.S. flag at half staff, in Stamford (photo from an earlier event) – Photo: Amy Mortensen / Connecticut Post Freelance


4 Responses to Fly flags at half-staff through December 18, to honor victims of Connecticut shootings

  1. […] Fly flags at half-staff through December 18, to honor victims of Connecticut shootings […]


  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Windy, I sorta lied. My apologies. Here’s what one federal law says (without any serious penalties for violations, of course):

    “(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.

    [Emphasis added here]

    Public Law 105-225
    105th Congress

    An Act
    To revise, codify, and enact without substantive change certain general
    permanent laws, related to patriotic and national observances, ceremonies, and organizations, as title 36, United States Code, “Patriotic and National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organizations”. <<NOTE: Aug. 12, 1998 – [H.R. 1085]

    You can find it codified, I hope, at 4 USC section 7 (m)


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    You may fly your flag at half staff any time. Governors in all states have the authority to order flags in the state be posted at half staff — it’s not like there has ever been a clear law that spells that out (still no such law). Who has the power in the jurisdiction? The governor? The county judge or commissioner? The presiding judge on the court who meet in that building? The mayor? The Board of Education?

    It’s impressive to me that the power is so rarely abused. Maybe most people think only the president can make such an order, as you did — and maybe that’s good.

    What do you think?


  4. Windy Citizen says:

    I thought only the US President could decide when the US flag would be flown at half staff. When did governors get this authority?


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