Why are flags half-staff today on Monday, February 3? Although there are no national half-staff proclamations from President Donald Trump, a number of states have proclamations in place from sunrise to sunset today. These are honoring people who have served their state or country and are no longer with us. Here’s a look at the people being honored today by lowered flags across the country.
States Are Lowering Their Flags in Honor of Those No Longer with Us
In Texas, U.S. and state flags are flying half-staff February 2 through the day of interment for Officer Alan McCollum. The Corpus Christi police officer was killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop. Flags will be lowered in Corpus Christi, but other cities and counties can also do the same in honor of McCollum.
McCollum was a seven-year police veteran who had also served in the Army, the Caller Times reported. He was hit by a car during a traffic stop. McCollum leaves behind three children and a wife. A GoFundMe for his family is here.
In Virginia, U.S. and Commonwealth flags are being flown at half-staff in memory of Newport News police officer Katherine M. “Kattie” Thyne. Thyne died during a traffic stop when a vehicle she had stopped fled the scene, WTVR reported. She leaves behind a daughter who is only two. Donations to support her daughter can be made to the Officer Thyne Memorial Fund here. Thyne was only 24 and a former Navy officer who had just joined the department in November 2018.
In North Carolina, state and U.S. flags are lowered to half-staff in honor of Spc. Antonio I. Moore. Moore, 22, died in an accident in Syria. He was assigned to the 363rd Engineer Battalion and died during a rollover accident, Stripes.com reported. He was conducting route-clearing operations. Flags will be half-staff through February 4. Moore is survived by his mom, stepfather, and four siblings. This was his first deployment since he enlisted in May 2017.
Flag Half-Staff Traditions
It’s customary to only display the American flag from sunrise to sunset, unless the flag is well illuminated overnight. In those cases, the flag might be displayed 24 hours a day. A number of holidays call for the U.S. flags to be lowered to half-staff every year. In addition, the President of the United States may order a proclamation for the flags to fly half-staff when someone of prominence dies or when there is a national tragedy. State governors may also call for national flags to be flown at half-staff in their state when a present or former government official passes away.
If you’re wondering about the term half-mast vs. half-staff, in the United States half-mast refers to flags being lowered on a ship, while half-staff refers to a pole on a building. However, outside the United States, the more commonly used term is actually half-mast. The terms tend to be used interchangeably in common vernacular.