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Aethelflaed's avatar

Was New Jersey right to fly the state flag at half-staff in honor of Whitney Houston?

Asked by Aethelflaed (13702 points ) February 21st, 2012

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie order NJ to fly the state flag at half-staff in honor of Whitney Houston. However, some are not so pleased with this decision. One municipality ignored the order. A Michigan man who’s son gave his life in 2005 serving the USA burned a NJ flag in his backyard, saying that this act cheapens the meaning of lowering the flag. Christie defended his decision, saying “For those people who say, ‘I don’t think she deserves it,’ I say to them, ‘I understand that you don’t think that. I do, and it’s my executive order.’”

Was Christie right to lower the flags in honor of Houston?

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21 Answers

Kardamom's avatar

I think it was a nice gesture that wasn’t intended to insult or do harm to anyone who has served their country.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yes, Christie was right on this.

Putting the flag at half staff is an honor. Whitney Houston brought honor to herself and to her state. Sure, maybe she died ugly, but she lived and performed in a way that reflected well on her heritage.

For people who are pissed off that she had the honor (compared to a soldier) – we all make our mark in different ways. Dead soldiers are not inherently better people that dead singers because they wore a green uniform. Those complainers need to get off their self-appointed pedestals.

SpatzieLover's avatar

In my opinion, yes.

Our state has lowered the flag for deaths of former office holders, dignitaries, etc. Whitney could be viewed as a globally recognized ambassador for NJ.

It was Christie’s call. I’d be fine with it if it occurred in my state.

Ron_C's avatar

I don’t think that flying the state flag at half mast helps or hinders anyone. I do think that we place too much importance on show business figures. I personally think the flag should be flown at half mast every time a tea party conservative gets elected.

FutureMemory's avatar

@Ron_C Thank you for giving me my first smile of the day :)

Ron_C's avatar

@FutureMemory you’re welcome. At least someone appreciates my humor, my wife certainly doesn’t.

AmWiser's avatar

Of course the Governer was right. What harm did it do? The Michigan man was out of line since Michigan did not request their flags to be lowered.

Blackberry's avatar

The last time I checked, a flag is a piece of cloth that has no bearing on a person’s life. I don’t know the actual laws, but since we’re referring to meanings, celebrities that do have an impact on the places where they’re from. What do you think is going to happen when Sprinsteen dies? People take pride in these people because they’re from the same place and they’re popular or whatever.

King_Pariah's avatar

State flag I suppose is fine and I gotta say it makes sense for them to have done it. However I do believe that it is over the top to say the least

Ron_C's avatar

@Blackberry “What do you think is going to happen when Sprinsteen dies?” OH Man, DON’T TALK LIKE THAT! The Boss can’t die.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think so. She was an entertainer.

Blackberry's avatar

@Ron_C I apologize, but I’m still preparing for the massacre lol.

GladysMensch's avatar

Not right. Lowering the flag is a symbol honoring one who has served the state or country. A soldier serves the country, a police officer serves the state, an elected politician serves the state or country. I understand that you can’t fly the flag for the death of every state or government worker; the flag would rarely be flown at mast (the top).

However, I will agree that entertainers can represent their state or city. Frank Sinatra : New York. Elvis Presley: Memphis. Bruce Springsteen (and to a lesser extent Bon Jovi): New Jersey. Eminem: Detroit. Prince: Minneapolis…. etc. Those rare artists may be worthy of a state-wide honor. However, I don’t think anyone associates/ed Whitney Houston with New Jersey.

SpatzieLover's avatar

However, I don’t think anyone associates/ed Whitney Houston with New Jersey.

Apparently Gov Christie did.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I think it cheapens the meaning behind lowering the flag. We lower flags to half mast when we’ve lost heroes who have died doing a service for their state/country. To me, a professional singer is just not in the same circle with firefighters, cops, veterans, soldiers, etc… It wasn’t right, IMHO.

Pandora's avatar

Lowering a state flag, no problem. Lowering the US flag would be insulting. Celebrities do what they do for the love of the art and money. Some do help and donate money to causes but if that is the criteria than the flag should be half mass for every person who donates or sacrifices time and money for the aiding some cause. I think if someone doesn’t want to participate than it is their right.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved Whitney and felt sorry for her passing but I even felt more sorry for the road she traveled and the talent squandered.
Now I feel sorry that our heros aren’t people who do the most to live their life right and set a good example for our young.
I didn’t walk in Whitney shoes so I can’t say I would’ve done it differently. I don’t want to vilify her but I don’t think it sends a good message to young people about what is acceptable behavior.
If I was a teen, I would think, “oh,so if your rich, powerful, and famous, we will still honor your life as if you never did nothing wrong.” You won’t see a flag flown at half mass for someone who isn’t famous but overcame hard times and drugs. You won’t see a flag flown for a mother who works two jobs and still manages to raise children as good citizens. No. Only if your famous.

The_Idler's avatar

Yeah, but only because it’s America.
Such ridiculously disproportionate reverence for a pop singer can only be expected.

Whatever next though, electing film stars?

Blackberry's avatar

@The_Idler A porn star has been elected in a European country :P

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Blackberry But that’s awesome, not bad…

Blackberry's avatar

I agree, an actor or actress can still be capable of being a politician. : )

OpryLeigh's avatar

I agree with @Kardamom. I must admit that I am getting a bit annoyed with this whole “we mourn over one person’s death but ignore the hundreds of soldiers killed in service each year” thing that seems to be the fashionable status on Facebook at the moment. At least where I am, we certainly don’t ignore the hundreds killed in service each year and we don’t ignore the thousands of people starving or anything else that people who actually find Whitney Houston’s death quite sad are being accused of. Being sad that a celebrity died does not change anything about a soldiers death in my opinion. Any untimely death is sad.

Sorry. Rant over. This has been irritating me this week.

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