Politicians have been abusing the flag code for decades. I have seen our national symbol lowered to half-staff for the passing of non-US citizens, for county-level politicians, and for any other person an elected official thinks might score them points. The latest trend is to lower the flag for victims of terrorist and criminal acts. However, by this standard, we could find a reason to be at half-staff every day of the year.
When we see our flag at half-staff so often, the gesture loses significance. It’s no longer about honoring those who purposely put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf. It is no longer about heroism.
Actually, the act begins to symbolize something else. I’ve begun to see it as representing our nation’s diminished status in the international community, a nation without pride, a nation paying tribute, not so much to victims, but to the unbalanced mind who committed a heinous act and caused a powerful nation to bow its head in remorse and shame.
Let’s find another way to remember the victims of terrorist and criminal acts. Our flag should be flown at half-staff one day per year as originally intended.