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Biden Reverses Plan For Flags At Half-Staff For Peace Officers Memorial Day After Date Conflict

Washington, DC – President Joe Biden has reversed a plan to lower flags to half-staff for National Police Week and not every state is following his direction.

The White House issued a proclamation on May 7 that directed flags be lowered to half-staff nationwide on May 15, which was Peace Officers Memorial Day, the Concord Patch reported.

The Biden administration has earned a reputation for ordering the flags lowered nationwide for all major tragedies since he took office.

The U.S. Code says the flag should be lowered to half-staff on Memorial Day and by order of the president “upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory.”

The flag has also been flown at half-staff traditionally for other officials, U.S. Supreme Court justices, and foreign dignitaries, and was lowered for former Vice President Walter Mondale in April, according to the Concord Patch.

It also calls for lowering the flag for Peace Officers Memorial Day, The Washington Post reported.

President Biden ordered flags flown at half-staff after the mass shootings in Indiana, Boulder, and Atlanta, which is not called for in the U.S. Code, as well as for the death of the U.S. Capitol Police officer killed in an attack at the Capitol complex in April, the Concord Patch reported.

That made it all the more surprising when the White House on Thursday reversed the earlier proclamation calling for lowered flags the next day.

The decision was not well-received by politicians who support law enforcement, The Washington Post reported.

U.S. Representative Brian Mast (R-Florida) called out President Biden for having the opinion that police “aren’t worthy of lowering the flags” shortly after the decision was announced on May 14.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu called President Biden’s decision “shocking” and said his state would do what it had always done and “continue to honor the men and women who have died or been injured in the line of duty by flying flags at half-staff,” the Concord Patch reported.

“The Biden Administration’s reversal of their earlier proclamation in the eleventh hour is shocking, and our men in women in blue, along with their families, are owed an explanation for this sudden reversal,” Sununu said. “I call on New Hampshire’s congressional delegation to join with me in rejecting this disrespectful decision.”

But The Washington Post reported that President Biden’s reversal had to do with a conflict on the calendar.

Peace Officers Memorial Day occasionally overlaps with Armed Forces Day, and the law calls for flags to be flown at full-staff for Armed Forces Day.

“The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day,” the U.S. Code read.

May 15, 2021 was both Peace Officers Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day.

The White House has refused to comment on the change of plans but sources told The Washington Post that the administration was trying to comply with the U.S. Code.

“This weekend is a once-in-a-decade scenario based on the flag code,” a White House Official said. “As a result, flag code dictates that the flags should not be lowered today. The President stands by the message of his proclamation and his longtime commitment to working with law enforcement to build safer communities.”

The explanation still didn’t sit well with many, The Washington Post reported.

“This is UNBELIEVABLE,” former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted. “In case you had any question as to where President Biden stands on police, now you know…”

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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