Flags down, then up, then down again for Sen. Robert Byrd
Want a fun piece of trivia to offer up alongside the burgers at your July 4th barbeque? Read on.
President Obama on Wednesday ordered all American flags to fly at half staff until the evening of Sen. Robert Byrd's burial, scheduled for next week.
The code states that a president can order flags to half staff whenever he chooses, but it also says that Old Glory must fly at full staff on 14 specific days of the year, including Independence Day. Since Obama's proclamation conflicts with July 4th, he also ordered flags to fly at full staff on Sunday "in honor and tribute" to Byrd, who he called "a great patriot."
(The proclamation applies only to Sunday, the actual 4th of July, and not Monday, when federal offices will be closed for observance of the national holiday. Flags should again drop to half staff on the 5th, until Byrd's burial.)
Flags must fly at half staff for 30 days from the death of a president or former president and for 10 days from the death of a vice president, Supreme Court chief justice and speaker of the House, according to the code. Make sure to lower your flags on the day of death until the burial of a Supreme Court associate justice, a Cabinet secretary or military branch secretary, a former vice president and state governor. Normally flags fly at half staff on the day a member of Congress dies and the day after, but Byrd is a rare exception.
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