Once you’ve had your flag pole installation taken care of by a professional at ND Flag Pole Guy, the job’s not done! Sure, we might be done with installing your flag pole, but now you need to know the proper way to fly your flags. While flying flags might at first seem pretty straightforward, flying them during days when they are to be half-staff is considerably more difficult. In our most recent blog, we told you when to fly your flags at half-staff; today we’re going to take a look at how to fly them at half-staff.
What Does Half-Staff Mean?
You might at first think that flying a flag at half-staff should be taken literally. Just make sure it’s exactly halfway up the pole, right? There’s quite a bit of contention about this (and not just about the idea of lowering it in order to make room for the invisible flag of death).
Some authorities believe that lowering a flag to the midpoint of a flag pole is far too low. Why? Some suggest that it shows too much disrespect to the flag to fly it so low. Others believe that flying it halfway down the pole could lead to it accidentally being below the halfway point when people are eyeballing it.
Instead, they suggest that a flag be lowered the same distance as it is wide. For instance, if you buy one of our American-made flags that’s 8-feet by 12-feet, the flag should be lowered 12 feet. (However, this could create a problem if your flag pole installation was only 20 feet tall, since that would put the flag below the midpoint.)
Which should you do? The Flag Code doesn’t say, as it was written before half-staff was common practice. Flying a flag at the midpoint certainly puts you in good company, but you might feel more comfortable with the “width” method mentioned above. We suggest you simply fly your flag consistently during half-staff days, and if someone questions your methods you can let them know why you’ve made your particular decision.
How Should Your American Flag Be Raised?
Trust us, this isn’t as straightforward as it sounds! You should not simply raise it to half-way up the flag pole. On half-staff days, the American flag should always be raised briskly to the top of the flag pole and then lowered slowly into your desired half-staff position (as noted above).
Similarly, when the sun sets and it’s time to take your flag down for the night, you don’t simply lower it. You should raise it to the top of the flag pole before lowering it.
Remember, the American flag should be flown at half-staff, not raised to half-staff!
What About The Other Flags?
If you’re like many of our customers, you’re not interested in just flying an American-made flag. You might want to fly the North Dakota state flag as well, and perhaps a POW/MIA flag. But that raises (sure, pun intended, why not?) the question: what do you do with the other flags on half-mast days?
Buildings that have two or three flag poles installed have the easiest decision to make. For instance, a church might have one flag pole for their American flag, one flag pole for the state flag, and one flag pole for their religious flag. During a normal day, the American flag is flown the highest. But on half-staff days, it is customary for all three flags to be flown at the same height partway down the flag pole.
But what about our residential customers and those businesses that have had commercial flag pole installation performed? In most instances, they’ll only have one flag pole with another flag flying below it. In the instance of a half-staff day, the best practice is probably to remove the flags that are not American flags. To fly an American flag at the midpoint would cause the other flags to be too low to the ground in most cases, which would show them too much disrespect.
Fly Your Flag With Pride
Half-staff days can be complicated, but it’s important to follow standard practices in order to show proper respect to both the flag and the person or people being honored. And if you need a new flag pole installed to honor those who have passed, we’d love to help you do so. Click here to find out more.