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When and Why Do We Put Flags Half Staff?

Across the country flags have been brought down to half-staff for the late Senator John McCain, but why do we do this? And who do we do it for?

Mainly for federal, state, local government officials or judiciary. The president or governor announces when they would like the public to put their flags at half-staff, but it’s not a law so you don’t have to do it.

For someone like John McCain, the flag will stay that way until interment or when he is finally laid to rest at the U.S. Naval academy cemetery on Sunday, September second. You will also see the flag halfway down to remember a tragedy or on holidays like the holiday memorial day where it will stay at half-staff from dawn until noon.

There are few occasions where this is suggested by the president for someone other than a government official as respect for the country or territory’s mourning.