One Flag, One Land, One Heart, One Hand, One Nation, Evermore!

by MSO

It's said that the custom originated to allow "the invisible flag of death" to fly at the top of the mast, which signified death's presence, power, and prominence.

A symbol of grief, flying a flag at half-staff (also known as half-mast) is used in many countries to remember someone who has died. While there is no record as to why this tradition came about, the first reference of the practice dates back to 1612, when a ship’s crew was mourning the loss of their commander. Flying a flag in this way is not done to remember every single person who dies, usually only prominent political figures are remembered in this way. Special holidays and extraordinary circumstance are also reasons for this practice. Some countries have a very specific list as to when flags are flown this way. The proper method to bring a flag to half-staff is to bring the flag to the top of the flagpole and bring it about halfway down the pole.

Read more:

http://www.united-states-flag.com/half-staff.html

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