April 15 has now been established as a national Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln. It has been directed that all American flags flown on government buildings be displayed half-staff. Additionally, all Americans have been asked to lower their flags at their homes and businesses.

While flying at half-staff is an act showing honor, many people misinterpret the actual significance. It is intended as a symbol of mourning; honoring important figures befallen by death. According to the flag code, “by order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory.”

By no official regard, it has been said that flying half-staff is for the “invisible flag of death” flying above. April 15 is the nationally recognized day of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination 150 years ago. The Presidential Proclamation was signed April 14, 2015 (see proclamation: http://1.usa.gov/1b3arNn)

Although there are customary dates to fly at half-staff, there are also special designated flag-flying days. These days should be celebratory—with fresh, crisp flags flying beautifully at full staff. Please see below the special occasions to fly your flag and in the proper manner:

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)
• National Firefighters Memorial Day, October (Typically a Sunday, on the day a memorial service held in Emmitsburg, MD and coincides with Fire Prevention Week – Sunday through Saturday in which October 9 falls).
• 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. Citizens are encouraged to flag POW/MIA flags and flags of the Military Branches on this day to show support to our Veterans.
• National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, July 27 of each year: This day marks the anniversary of the signing of a treaty ending the Korean War.

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