Flag sole posession of military only??

Discussion in 'The Fire For Effect and Totally Politically Incorr' started by terryu1, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. terryu1

    terryu1 Armed Infidel

    Oct 16, 2009
    NE Pennsylvania
    At great risk of getting dumped on by "haters", I have to ask , since when did the US Military assume sole ownership of our flag?? I grew up in Viet Nam era and vets were disrespected and treated very badly. I believe if you think about EVERY holiday where the troops are brought up, EVERY NASCAR race where vets and active military are honored and ALL is due and fitting respect.

    The current Whitney controversy has me asking this though. It is OUR flag and yes the military has fought to defend it but it is defended by patriots who are not nor were ever active military. Whether Whitney should or should not have been honored is arguable but I have been quite bothered by the statement of several military family members who feel that doing this dishonors vets and it is a right that should be reserved for military only??

    I believe a solution would be to drape coffins of veterans in the flag of their branch of service. To me that would be an even greater honor as it is a flag of the United States and also that of a designated arm of the military and could ONLY be used by members of that branch. This would also separate veterans from congressmen, police officers and others for whom "Old Glory" is used to drape a coffin. Govt offices could also be issued flags of each branch to fly under the Start and Stripes at half mast, again the give extra honor to the vet for whom the honor is given. Just Sayin'.

    I welcome sane debate but reserve the right to ignore "haters". With that said I say God Bless the US Military, active, veteran and families who also suffer frequently. I am a recurring monthly donor to Wounded Warriors and support vets and active military at every chance but some of these comments bother me. How about you??
  2. rcairflr

    rcairflr Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2011
    Wichita, Ks
    I don't disagree with you and I did served 10 years in the US Marine Corps> I did my time and then got out, I don't feel the US Government or anyone else owes me anything and never expected anything.

    One thing I do believe, is that the lowering of the flag to half mast should not just be for dead polliticains. They typically are the ones who do not deserve it, but also believe that it shouldn't just be for veterans. There are many people who deserve it for various reasons.

    As far as Whitney Houston goes, I have no idea whether she deserves it or not, most people here seem to base their opinion on her drug problems. I was not with her everyday (just like everyone else here) so I don't know what good she did. If she did a lot of good with her money, then maybe she did deserve it, personally I have no idea and as such have no opinion on it.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012

  3. terryu1

    terryu1 Armed Infidel

    Oct 16, 2009
    NE Pennsylvania
    Thank You, I have been thinking about this for a while and it never bothered me until the whole Whitney thing came up. I also do not know if it was a good decision but it was not my call. What about someone who dies saving the lives of many other civilians. Should your Country not be allowed to honor your act of valor?? Like I said it was some of the strong comments by some military family members that got me thinking about this issue.

    You are wrong though rcairflr, Your country and all its citizen's do owe you a debt of gratitude and the respect that goes with it. I thank you for your service in keeping my arse safe!!!
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  4. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    I lower my flag when 'I' feel it's appropriate.
  5. Diamondback

    Diamondback Well-Known Member

    To all who have served our country, THANK YOU. I am a Vietnam Era veteran. I did not serve in country. That being said:

    The lowering of the Flag of the United States of America to half mast should be properly reserved for those who gave their lives in the service of this country be they soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, coast guard, (God forbid) politician, firefighter or police. Ihave never heard of Miss Houston doing great deeds with her wealth. I have heard that she ever served her country in any capacity. All I have ever heard about was her ongoing battle with drugs and exes. Granted she was a talented singer but in the end she wasted her life and her talent.

    IMHO she did not deserve to have the Flag of the United States of America lowered to half mast. Please feel free to beat me and make me write bad checks. If anything in this post has offended anyones tender sensitivities, Tango Sierra. Take your problem to the Chaplain.
  6. raven818

    raven818 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Jax, Fl.
    This flag lowering for a life long junkie singer is going to open a can of worms that cannot be closed. How many more will die, and some politician or groups of left wing, politically correct folks, will demand the flag be lowered?

    The flag will wind up being just another multicolored piece of cloth, to be used when it's convenient. Disgusting.
  7. Python

    Python Former Guest

    Apr 9, 2011
  8. chunk2t1

    chunk2t1 New Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    the reason i don't agree with this part is because i did not go to war for the Air Force. i went to war for the United States. as for the whole whitney thing, would you feel the same if it was for charlie sheen?
  9. terryu1

    terryu1 Armed Infidel

    Oct 16, 2009
    NE Pennsylvania
    Actually I would be outraged if it were Charlie Sheen. I think you guys are missing my point. I am not saying whether it was right or wrong about Whitney I am questioning the feelings that have been brought forward by some military families that Lowering the flag should be for military only?

    Yes, Whitney's lifestyle has ignited this, that would explain why there was no outrage when New Jersey did the same for Clarence Clemons (sax player for Bruce Springsteen) when he passed.

    This has been an honor for not only military personnel but also for politicians and other special cases. Now some want to have it for military only. Just inviting discussion on this issue.
  10. Juker

    Juker New Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Land of Lincoln
    I have a 32-page booklet entitled "How To Respect and Display Our Flag", printed by the US GPO in 1968 and distributed to schools by the USMC.

    (I will let you all pause and reflect upon that for a few moments, while we mourn the loss of better days.)

    It contains all kinds of interesting facts and historical points. I found this towards the end:

    "The custom of lowering the flag to half-mast or half-staff comes from the old military tradition of 'Striking the Colors' in time of war as a sign of submission. It is known that as early as 1627 the flying of a flag at half-mast was a sign of mourning, and this has been continued to the present day."

    Interestingly, nothing else is mentioned about who deserves this honor. Hundreds of people die every day who did a lot more good for their fellow man than did "Crack is whack" Whitney Houston.

    As a proud veteran, I have to admit I really don't care one bit. I really don't. I don't think she deserved it, and I sure didn't lower my flag for her, but for me it's a non-issue. She made millions, threw her life away, and now she's dead. I suppose I'm just glad we still have a flag to lower. There are bigger battles and bigger fish to fry, like fighting for gun rights in communist-controlled Illinois.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  11. Iron Eagle

    Iron Eagle Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2012
    I agree with you, Juker. That was the governor's decision, and whatever we think or feel about it doesn't change anything. We veterans know what is right, and what is wrong. We have to live with our decisions, not anyone elses.
  12. terryu1

    terryu1 Armed Infidel

    Oct 16, 2009
    NE Pennsylvania
    I agree whole heartedly on the passing of this kind of education in our schools and I have to admit I never knew of this being military tradition at it origin. You truly can teach an old dog new tricks.

    This is why I love intelligent conversation without backbiting. You can learn something if you present your side and LISTEN to the other side. You see it on TV EVERY day where two sides are on a talk show or whatever and they constantly interrupt and talk over each other and as discussion gets hotter they just get louder. This also harkens back to a better time when even war was more civil. In the Civil War it was customary for opposing sides to use same watering holes at night and to even converse with each other and even share tobacco and coffee.

    Once again, I was not wanting to make it a discussion about Whitney or Clarence Clemmons or whether they deserved it. I was going to post this for some time
    and was afraid to but I must say that once again TFF has shown that we have a different "CLASS" of member. We can discuss, argue or whatever and at the same time respect each others opinions. Congrats to all here!!!

    And... I am starting to rethink my position on this. Who Da Thunk???
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  13. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    Apparently the president and the governors of the individual states can order the flag flown at half mast at government facilities to honor, not only military members and veterans and current or former politicians, but also notable celebrities as deemed appropriate by these authorities.

    Anyone can fly their own flag at half mast to honor anyone. I could fly my own flag at half mast if my dog dies. A business might fly their flag at half mast to say honor a member of their organization, but shouldn't expect others to do so.

    It all comes down to opinion as the whether a celebrity is deserving of this honor. I would ask, "Would it be appropriate if say Britney Spears were to die of a drug overdose?" I would say not. Regardless of her talent, which was great, in my opinion Whitney Houston would not be deserving of this recognition at federal or state facilities, but that's only my opinion.

    I found this online:


    Half-Staff Dates & Flag Rules

    Is today a half staff day?
    Each time we learn of a half staff either statewide or federal, we will send out an email to everyone who has signed up for the alerts. State half staff alerts are not perfect yet, but we are working on streamlining the process and offering timely and acurate information.

    Customary Dates to fly half-Staff:
    Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15th (Unless that day is also Armed Forces Day.) (sunrise to sunset)
    Memorial Day, last Monday in May (sunrise to noon)
    Patriot Day, September 11th (sunrise to sunset)
    Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, December 7th (sunrise to sunset)
    Other Special Flag-Flying Days:
    President's Day, 3rd Monday in February: A celebration situated between Lincoln's and Washington's Birthdays. It is not a half staff day.
    Flag Day, June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.
    Veteran's Day (formerly Armistice Day), November 11th: This is a day to honor our nations Veterans. It is not a day of mourning, but a day of celebration and honor. Therefor, it is not a day of half staff. Citizens are encouraged to flag POW/MIA flags and flags of the Military Branches on this day to show support to our Veterans.
    How to fly your flag at half-Staff:
    Most half staff days suggest that the American flag is at half staff from sunrise until sunset on the days of the order. Memorial day is the exception where the American flag is at half staff from sunrise until noon.
    When raising the American flag to half staff on a vertical pole, always raise it briskly to the top of the flagpole for a moment before lowering it. When taking it down for the night, raise it to the top of the flag pole again & lower it to the bottom.
    With a telescoping pole it is acceptable to put the USA flag on the second set of rings instead of the top set. In this case the top set would be left empty.
    When the United States flag is flown at half-staff, State & other flags should be removed or flown at half-staff too.
    If your flag can't fly at Half-Staff:
    For flags that can't be lowered, such as those on many homes, the American Legion says that attaching a black ribbon or streamer to the top of the flag is an acceptable alternative. The ribbon should be the same width as a stripe on the flag and the same length as the flag. Order yours today.
    For a wall mounted flag, three black mourning bows should be attached to the top edge of the flag, one at each corner and one in the center.

    Who can order a half staffing?
    Only the President and state Governors can decide when and how long the American flag should be flown at half-staff.
    How long should the flag be at half staff?
    Thirty days after the death of a president or former president
    Ten days after the death of a vice president, the chief of justice or a retired chief of justice or the speaker of the house of representatives.
    Until the burial of an associate justice of the Supreme Court, secretary of a military department, a former vice president, or the governor of a state, territory, or possession.
    On the day of and the day after the death of a member of Congress.
    On Memorial Day, the day set aside to honor all the people who have died while serving the United States & originally called Decoration Day, the flag is flown at half-Staff until noon, then raised to full staff until sundown.
    What about half staff to honor other citizens?
    Only the president of the United States or the Governor of the state may order the flag to be at half-staff to honor the death of a national or state figure. In addition to the traditional half-staff salutes, the Flag Code mentions the use of our Flag for honoring leading citizens such as Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Private citizens and non government buildings may choose to fly their flags at half staff to honor more local leaders. The Flag Code does not exclude any citizen, whether they belong to an organization or not, whether they are recognized very locally or regionally. Examples of deceased citizens that might be honored with by lowering the Flag to half-staff include local religious leaders, youth leaders, honored teachers or sports coaches, local politicians, or a local hero. There need be no authorization from the government for the private sector (non-government) to use the Flag to honor any citizen.
    It is important to note that the Flag Code is a code, it is intended to provide guidance and is not obligatory. It carries no civil or criminal penalties for "misuse" of the Flag. Individual are not acting illegally when using the Flag according to their own usage. Only on government / public building is the flag code required to be followed.
    Flag Code Modifications for Half-Staff at a Federal Facility
    Federal Facilities must follow States lead with Half-Staff proclamations.
    The Flag Code half-staffing requirements was modified with new legislation signed into effect on June 29, 2007 by President Bush. The new legislation requires any federal facility within a region which proclaims half-staffing to honor a member of the US Armed Forces who died on active duty must follow the half-staffing proclamation. For example, if there is a US military fort in your state, and your Governor issues a Half-Staff proclamation, the the US military fort must follow the proclamation. This applies to all Governors of a State, possession or territory, or the Mayor of the District of Columbia. The text as adopted is shown below.
    (a) ISSUANCE OF PROCLAMATION.— Subsection (m) of section 7 of title 4, United States Code, is amended in the sixth sentence —

    (1) by inserting "or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty" after "present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States"; and
    (2) by inserting before the period the following: ", and the same authority is provided to the Mayor of the District of Columbia with respect to present or former officials of the District of Columbia and members of the Armed Forces from the District of Columbia."

    (b) FEDERAL FACILITY CONSISTENCY WITH PROCLAMATION. — Such subsection is further amended by inserting after the sixth sentence the following new sentence: "When the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, or the Mayor of the District of Columbia, issues a proclamation under the preceding sentence that the National flag be flown at half-staff in that State, territory, or possession or in the District of Columbia because of the death of a member of the Armed Forces, the National flag flown at any Federal installation or facility in the area covered by that proclamation shall be flown at half-staff consistent with that proclamation.".

    Read more: http://www.gettysburgflag.com/flyflaghalfmast.php#ixzz1mwOnipkS
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  14. :thumbsup:
  15. terryu1

    terryu1 Armed Infidel

    Oct 16, 2009
    NE Pennsylvania
    Thank You RunningOnMT, More insight into this, Another thought I had is that they only flew the flags half mast in her home state of New Jersey. This seems to be more appropriate as she had more meaning to many of the people there than nationwide. They do need to be careful though. The person should be exemplary in all aspects and not just a great performer.

    So OK now I am heading back to my original thoughts that it has not only been a military thing and that some of the statements were out of line. Thanks Again.

    My bottom line is as most feel, I do not harbor a lot of grief for a spoiled, rich debutante who ends up ruining their life and sometimes losing it ie, Michael Jackson, Whitney among many, many, many others.
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