General Question

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Why is a neighbor flying their US flag at half-mast?

Asked by Pied_Pfeffer (26669points) May 20th, 2011

It is not only at the lower position in a wall-mounted flagpole holder, the flag is halfway down the pole. I’ve searched the internet and cannot find any reference to an American death or tragedy. Am I missing something?

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27 Answers

Nullo's avatar

He probably doesn’t realize the significance.

everephebe's avatar

The end of the world is tomorrow?
Or that we hit the debt ceiling?

sinscriven's avatar

Could be a political statement, such as referring to the deaths of American soldiers that people seem to pay little attention to these days.

Or he’s a big fan of Randy Savage, who did die today.

Sunny2's avatar

Why don’t you ask him? And tell us his answer.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

To the best of my knowledge the flag can be flown at half-mast to honor anyone that has passed. Perhaps there has been a death in the family, or in the community. Maybe someone with military history.

creative1's avatar

I think @ANef_is_Enuf is probably correct, Memorial Day is on the 30th your neighbor could be doing that or it could for all the fallen soiders past and present.

Pele's avatar

Maybe someone died?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Nullo You could be right. Maybe the flag slid down the pole a bit. It’s metal and may not be permanently attached. Putting the pole in the lower stand position is questionable.

@everephebe That crossed my mind as well. :)

@sinscriven I go past the house every day, and it is the first time I’ve seen the flag out, but that doesn’t discredit your first suggestion. Your second suggestion is just as valid…sort of weird, but valid.

@Sunny2 I seriously thought about it, but I don’t know who lives there, and no one was out in the yard, or I would have stopped and asked.

@ANef_is_Enuf Thank you for that information. It would make sense since no one else has their flag out.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Perhaps his flagpole is broken.

See this example from earlier this month.

Carly's avatar

My father’s side of the family lowers their american flag when someone they know in the military has just died. This happed a few years ago when one of my distant cousins was killed in Iraq.

Sunny2's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Bake a batch of cookies and take half of them over to the house (you get to eat the rest) Knock on the door and present them while asking if there was a death in the family. If nobody answers the door, you get all the cookies.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Sunny2 smart. And thoughtful.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Pele It could very well be. I just have never seen a flag hung because a loved one passed away.

@Mamradpivo The flagpole looked fine. Maybe the stand and the secures for the flag were both broken? I doubt it, but cannot verify unless I go up in their yard. And ouch…I worked for that hotel chain for many years. Shame on them for not doing better. Several of the inspection items include the condition of the flagpole as well as the flag.

@Carly Thanks for sharing that friend. You could well be right.

@Sunny2 That’s an interesting idea. How would you recommend wording why I am making the offering?

Sunny2's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer “I saw your flag lowered and thought there might have been a death in the family, so I baked you these cookies.” If there’s no answer, you might say,“Are you all right? Is there anything I can do for you?” People always bring food to the bereaved. I guess they think mourning is too debilitating for cooking. Or something.

lillycoyote's avatar

Actually, only the President or State Governors can order that an American flag can/should be flown at half staff either to honor the death of particular person of national or state importance or on certain “customary” days. That last customary day was May 15th, Peace Officers Memorial Day. has it been flying at half staff since then? Or maybe the governor of you state ordered the flag flown at half staff. What state are you in?

erichw1504's avatar

Maybe his bike died?

WasCy's avatar

In most states, the Governor will order that state flags be flown at half-mast to honor a soldier, sailor or airman from the state who has died in combat. The same is done for fallen police and fire fighters, as well as for active and retired elected figures who have recently died.

Check your state’s web page to see if there’s a pertinent announcement.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Sunny2 Thank you for the follow-up. In thinking about it, if someone showed up on my doorstep that I didn’t know offering food because of the position of the flag, it would be sort of weird and suspect.

@lillycoyote Thank you for the additional information and the link. That is what I have always heard. I’m in Tennessee.

@erichw1504 You may be joking, but I just got back from a walk up to the house thinking that it might be Motorcycle Guy’s place. It wasn’t. He does have an American flag as well as a Confederate flag hanging on the walls of his garage.

@WasCy I’ve checked both the state and city sites for announcements. Nothing cropped up.

@All After closer inspection on the walk past the house, it appears that the flagpole holder is mounted so close to the eave that there is no way the flag could be put up in the proper upright position. I couldn’t tell if the flag was at half-mast on purpose or not without leaving the sidewalk to go up to the house.

cpwham2000's avatar

Formally, it meas someone has passed away. (in this case, it is the thousands that are dying in the war) I fyou have a flag I would sugest doing the same.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@cpwham2000 Welcome to Fluther.

I do own an American flag. I am not going to put it out for display until I know what the reasoning is and am in agreement with it.

Sunny2's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer You’d have to introduce yourself first as his neighbor.

jrpowell's avatar

Macho Man Randy Savage died today. If I had a flagpole it would be at half-mast too.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Sunny2 Agreed. But doesn’t it seem kind of creepy to introduce yourself for the first time by ringing a doorbell of a stranger and offering food based upon the flag position? Maybe not creepy, but at minimum, negative.

@johnpowell Mr. Savage’s passing has been covered. With your vote, it makes it all the more likely.

Sunny2's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer New neighbors do it all the time to introduce themselves.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Sunny2 Yes, I have seen that happen. The problem is that I have no clue how long he/she/they have lived there.

Sunny2's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer It doesn’t matter. It was a suggestion, not an demand.

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