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White House Flags Flown At Half Staff For Victims Of Boston Marathon Attack

Source: Mark Wilson / Getty

News circulated early Monday morning that flags at the White House were back to normal after being placed at half-staff to honor the passing of Arizona Senator John McCain. Flags are plagued at half-staff are seen as a symbol of respect and mourning after the deaths of political or extraordinary figures.

In the United States, the President can issue an executive order for the flag of the United States to be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States government and others, as a mark of respect to their memory. When such an order is issued, all government buildings, offices, public schools, and military bases are to fly their flags at half-staff.

So many are wondering why only two days after his death, why would the White House raise the flag back to full staff?

Below is the length of time in which flags are permitted to be at Half-Staff.

For thirty days after the death of a current or former president or president-elect, as occurred after the death of President Reagan and the death of President Ford.

For ten days after the death of a current vice president, current or retired chief justice, or current Speaker of the House of Representatives.

From the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a secretary of an executive or military department, a former vice president, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, or the governor of a state, territory, or possession.

On the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress.

On Memorial Day until noon.

Every September 11 in remembrance of the September 11 attacks.

Upon presidential proclamation, usually after the death of other notable figures or tragic events.

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