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December 19th, 2012

When do I need to fly my US flag at half-staff?

Half-staff Etiquette

It is important to know half-staff etiquette if you have a flagpole with the American flag flying on it. The President or Governor has issued the flags to half-staff, is it a law to lower them or is it only required on Government buildings?

I know, it is confusing.

When we receive a notice from the President or Governor to lower flags to half-staff my interpretation it that all flags need to be lowered. You will not be legally reprimanded for not lowering the flags but there is a risk of upsetting people in your community or a potential client.

For some our large builder clients who have several flagpoles across the Front Range, it seems that one-day half-staff notification needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis. If the flags are to be lowered to honor a local soldier whose family lives in the community or a national tragedy (Aurora Theater or Connecticut School Shootings), I would recommend lower them.

There are a few dates each year where the flag is to fly at half-staff:

  • May 15-Peace Officer Memorial Day
  • Last Monday in May-Memorial Day **Fly flag at half-staff until noon then proudly fly your flag at full-staff**
  • September 11- Patriots Day
  • October TBD- Fallen Firefighters Memorial Day
  • December 7- Pearl Harbor Day
    Half-staff etiquette in front for building

Find out about half-staff notifications through our blog, or receive emails when flags are at half-staff.

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