Facts About Flags

Flags at Half-Staff

The National Flag should be displayed at half-staff especially on the days noted below or on other days by special proclamation of the President or Governor.

Memorial Day (Variable dates in May)
Flags must be flown at half-staff until noon, and at top of staff for the rest of the day.
Pearl Harbor Day
Flags must be flown at half-staff on the seventh day of December.
Peace Officers Memorial Day
Flags must be flown at half-staff on Peace Officer Memorial Day, which is the fifteenth day of May, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day.
Patriots Day
Pursuant to a Presidential Proclamation, flags must be flown at half-staff on Patriots Day, which is the eleventh day of September.

Flags at Half-Staff on Other Occasions

Federal law specifies the following mandatory periods of mourning for which flags must be flown at half-staff:

  • Thirty days from the date of death of the President or former President of the United States.
  • From the date of death until interment of a former Vice President, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an Executive or Military department or a Governor of a State, territory or possession.
  • Ten days from the date of death of the Vice President of the United States; the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or Military department or a Governor of a State, territory or possession.
  • The day of death and the following day for a member of congress.
  • In the event of death of other officials, former officials or other dignitaries, the flag of the United States, as well as the State flag, shall be displayed at half-staff in accordance with such orders or instructions as may be issued by or at the direction of the President of the United States in accordance with recognized customs not inconsistent with the law.

NOTE: Additionally, State law provides that flags may be flown at half-staff during special periods of mourning designated by the President of the United States or the Governor of New York, and to commemorate the death of a person of national or state standing or a local serviceman, official or public servant who, in the opinion of the local agency concerned, contributed to the community.