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Monday, April 19, 2010

Flag at Half Staff Too Often?

It seems like we get an awful lot of orders from Governor Rounds to fly the flag at half staff. Today's grief: remembering the 15th anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Search KELO, and you'll find a dozen half-staff orders in South Dakota in the past year. That's in addition to the five official days of remembrance when everyone should fly the flag at half staff. Once every three weeks is either an awful lot of time to spend grieving... or not enough, considering American soldiers die defending their country each week (though more killed themselves than were killed by Afghani bad guys last year).

I would like someone with a longer memory to help us out: did we fly flags at half staff this frequently in the 1980s? Or during Vietnam? Or World War II?

I do not seek to denigrate the memory of any fellow citizen killed by bad dudes. But on days like today and September 11, when we remember the slaughter of innocents on our own soil, I wonder if the proper response to psychopaths like McVeigh and Atta would be to add an extra foot to the flagpole and fly the flag a little higher, just to say, "See? We're still here. Your plot didn't work."


  1. Before someone says it less gently, Cory, it is also the anniversary of the conflagration at the Branch Davidian community near Crawford, Texas.

    My dad passed at 12:01 this morning.

  2. It is also the 17th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Governor Mickelson.

  3. Larry,
    My condolences to you.
    Joseph G Thompson, SMSGT,USAF(ret)

  4. Corri,
    Gov Rounds did not have to issue his proclamation because the flag is at half staff today at the direction of the President.

    You are right, the flag flys at half staff more often today than in the past. Used to be that only the President could direct that the national standard be flown at half staff but several years ago the flag code was changed to allow the governor of a state to direct the flying of the U.S. standard at half staff under certain circumstances.

    Joseph G Thompson

  5. Thank you, Sergeant Thompson, and to all.

  6. Larry,

    I am so sorry to hear about your dad's passing. May your Dad Rest in Peace.

    Flags in South Dakota should always fly at half mast not for Waco, Oklahoma but something close and personal to us as South Dakotans: The loss of Governor Mickelson, Roland Dolly, Ron Reed, Roger Hainje, Angus Anson, Dave Berkland, Ron Becker, and Dave Hansen.


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