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What “half-staff” means

United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 4 – FLAG AND SEAL, SEAT OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE STATES

CHAPTER 1—THE FLAG [ … ]

§7. Position and manner of display  [ … ]

(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. [ … ]

      (1) the term “half-staff” means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;   (my italics, for emphasis. DH)

Just as the top of the flag goes all the way to the top of the flagpole,  when “half-staffed” the  top of the flag should be placed at the “top” of the half-way point on the flag pole. No more, no less.  For example, on a 50 ft flag pole, the top of the flag would be placed at the 25 ft mark.

2 thoughts on “What “half-staff” means

  1. Good to have you back, Deborah. Maybe you should also mention that half staff is different than half mast, which is located on a ship. There are still a lot of people that don’t know the difference.

    1. Thanks, Sarge! I’m awfully rusty. It’s nice to know I still have one reader left 🙂
      Noted—regarding mast and staff. I’ll address that in a upcoming post.
      Best wishes, Deborah

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