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Legion commander explains etiquette used in lowering American flag to half-staff
The American flag, the Georgia flag and the POW/MIA flag are flown at half-staff Thursday at American Legion Paul E. Bolding Post 7 in Gainesville. - photo by Clark Leonard

In the wake of mass shootings and other tragedies across the nation, it’s not uncommon to see the American flag flying at half-staff.

On July 8, President Barack Obama ordered flags be lowered to half-staff following a shooting that killed five officers in Dallas, Texas. In doing so, he set a record as the president who has made the order most often. He has done so 67 times.

Some may wonder what the procedure is for lowering the flag to half-staff, and American Legion Post 7 Commander Dave Dellinger said there is etiquette for doing so.

“When it is announced, usually it’s done when you put it up at dawn or in the morning,” Dellinger said. “The procedure is to run it all the way up to the top, and then slowly bring it down to half-staff.”

Dellinger said announcements to lower the flag to half-staff can be made nationally or locally.

“Sometimes it’s just done in the community,” he said. “We’ve done that when one of our veterans died. It’s a symbol of honor, you know, but usually someone will announce it like the president did after Dallas.”

Regardless, Dellinger said more people in the community should participate in the patriotic practice.

“Fly your flag and show your patriotism to our country,” he said. “There aren’t enough flags showing here at any time.”

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