Flag Status

American flag flying at half-staffWhen should the flag be flown at half-staff? The United States flag flies at half-staff (or half-mast) when the nation or a state is in mourning. The president, through a presidential proclamation, a state governor, or the mayor of the District of Columbia can order flags to fly at half-staff. Most often, this is done to mark the death of a government official, military member, or first responder; in honor of Memorial Day or other national day of remembrance; or following a national tragedy. The flag should be briskly run up to the top of the staff before being lowered slowly to the half-staff position.


9/17/21: Please be advised that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has ordered that the United States of America flag and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts flag be lowered to half-staff at all state buildings from sunrise until sunset on Friday, September 17, 2021, the date of interment, in honor of First Lieutenant Thomas Redgate, US Army, Battery A, 48th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division (KIA, Korea, 1950) of Brighton, Massachusetts. Remains of 1LT Redgate, who was killed during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, Korea, will be laid to rest at the Massachusetts National Cemetery, in Bourne, MA on this day.

9/12/21: Please be advised that the dates for the half-staff display of the United States of America flag and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts flag in honor of Sergeant Johanny Rosario Pichardo USMC, of Lawrence, Massachusetts have been amended to include Sunday, September 12, 2021 and Monday September 13, 2021. Therefore the United States of America flag and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts flag should remain at half staff throughout this weekend and continue until Wednesday morning, September 15, 2021.

9/11/21: Please be advised that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, in accordance with United States Public Law 107-89, has ordered that the United States of America flag and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts flag be lowered to half-staff at all state buildings on Saturday, September 11, 2021 in observance of Patriot Day, “in honor of the individuals who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and the Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in the wars that followed.”  The United States of America flag and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts flag shall be flown at half-staff from sunrise until sunset.

8/26/21: Please be advised that in honor and remembrance of the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated today in Kabul, Afghanistan resulting in the tragic death of members of the United States military, and in accordance with the Presidential proclamation, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, has ordered that the United States of America flag and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts flag shall be flown at half-staff at all state buildings beginning immediately until sunset on Monday, August 30, 2021.

Gubernatioral half-staff orders apply to: 

1.  The main or administration building of each public institution of the Commonwealth, e.g. town and city halls 

2.  Other state-owned or state-controlled buildings 

3.  All state military installations