If you’re in Texas today then you might notice that flags are flying half-mast today. However, they aren’t flying half-staff in any other states because a proclamation was only issued in Texas, not nationwide. Read on for more details.
Flags Are Flying Half-Staff in Memory of the Texas Shooting Victims
Flags are flying half-mast in Texas today through September 5, 2019 in memory of the victims of the Midland-Odessa shooting. The shooting happened on Saturday, August 31, and the gunman acted alone. Seven victims were killed in the rampage, plus the shooter, and more than 20 people were injured. The shooting began during a traffic stop on Interstate 20 westbound, when the gunman was being pulled over for failure to signal. The car was still moving when the gunman pointed a rifle toward the rear window of his car and started shooting at the DPS patrol unit. Then he sped away, firing at random people as he drove.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered that flags be flown at half-staff today. His proclamation reads:
Midland-Odessa was struck by a senseless and cowardly attack today. Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific shooting and to both communities in this time of loss. As such, it is fitting that flags should be lowered immediately to half-staff in memory of those who lost their lives.
Therefore, pursuant to Chapter 3100 of the Texas Government Code, I direct the Texas flag be immediately lowered to half-staff statewide on Saturday, August 31, 2019, in memory of those who lost their lives. Flags should remain at half-staff through sunset on Thursday, September 5, 2019. Flags should be returned to full-staff on the following day.
Individuals, businesses, municipalities, counties, and other political subdivisions and entities are encouraged to fly their flags at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of honor and respect.
The First Lady and I extend our prayers of comfort to the survivors and the families of the victims and we will continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”
The proclamation was made on August 31.
Flags will be half-staff through sunset on Thursday, September 5.
Flags Are Not Half-Staff Nationwide
Although President Donald Trump sometimes orders flags at half-staff nationwide after a major mass shooting, he has not done so yet for this one, as of the time of publication. It’s not known why.
Not every mass shooting leads to a national half-mast proclamation, and it’s not clear what triggers one and not the other. Trump ordered that flags be flown at half-staff after the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio on August 4. Trump’s proclamation at the time read, in part: “Our Nation mourns with those whose loved ones were murdered in the tragic shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and we share in the pain and suffering of all those who were injured in these two senseless attacks. We condemn these hateful and cowardly acts. Through our grief, America stands united with the people of El Paso and Dayton.”
In June, Trump ordered that flags across be flown at half-staff after the Virginia Beach shooting that happened on May 31, 2019. Twelve people died in that shooting. His statement read, in part: “Our Nation grieves with those affected by the tragic shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Americans unite in praying for God to comfort the injured and heal the wounded. May God be with the victims and bring aid and comfort to their families and friends. As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated on May 31, 2019, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff.”
Trump also ordered flags at half-staff after the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017, among other times.