A. United States law, specifically Statute U.S.C. 7 (m), sets forth that the U.S. flag
will be flown at half-staff on the following occasions:
1. 30 days from the death of the President or a former President;
2. 10 days from the death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief
Justice, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
3. From the date of death until interment for an Associate Justice of the Supreme
Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President,
the president pro tempore of the Senate, the majority leader of the Senate, the
minority leader of the House of Representatives,
4. On the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress or a territorial
B. The President of the United States may order the honor of flying the flag at
half-staff upon the death of "principal figures of the the United States Government
and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their
C. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to
be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in
accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law.
D. State Governors also have the authority under the United States Code: "In the
event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any
State....the Governor of that State....may proclaim that the National flag shall be
flown at half-staff. There may other events, such as the death of a veteran, when the
Washington State Governor directs that the flag should should be flown at half-staff.
1. Upon the receipt of a directive from the Office of the Governor of the State of
Washington to lower the flag to half-staff by District Secretary Luginbill, she shall
notify Commissioner Luginbill of the details of the directive with copies of her
communication to Commissioners Boodey and Decima. Commissioner Luginbill will assure
that the flag is flown at half-staff per the directive.
2. If there are alternatives in the directive from the Office of the Governor,
Commissioner Luginbill shall make an appropriate decision on behalf of the District
and notify the District Secretary and other commissioners by email.
E. City Councils, in some municipalities, have authorized its mayor to make the
decision to fly the flag at half-staff where a prominent local citizen has passed
F. 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.
G. The flag should be flown at half-staff on Memorial Day (until noon, when it should
be raised to the "top of the staff") and on Peace Officers Memorial Day.