Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Subtleties of Living in a Red State


Full Mast
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
Talking to a friend yesterday at the first Powell High School football game of the season, he pointed to the American Flag anchored to the top of the mast. “Isn’t it suppose to be at half-mast today,” he inquired. Right away I realized the context of his curiosity as I considered the burial of Senator Edward Kennedy earlier in the day, way back East somewhere.

I didn’t know for sure. When I rode past the First National Bank building earlier in the afternoon, I noted the gigantic flag at half-mast.

But now, neither of us really knew. What was the time span for the flags to remain at half-staff? Was it something directed by the President or did each state of the Union determine if such a display was required and how long it endured? Was it meant only for Federal operations to observe or was it a directive for all?

We also wondered if the flying of the flag at full-mast was a purposeful act given the liberal status associated with the deceased senator by our conservative state or was it simply an oversight—just one of the many “automatic” tasks that unfold before the start of any football game? We considered the passing of a conservative senator such as Utah Senator Orin Hatch; could the same scenario occur?

It didn’t take me long this morning to confirm that indeed the flag should have flown at half-mast last night—all the way up until sunset this evening.

Maybe it was purposeful, maybe it was an oversight. What I really wonder now is this: how many other Americans attending the game last night had the same conversation about the Flag and if my friend hadn’t come along with his inquiry, would it have even crossed my mind?

3 comments:

Pat said...

Try not to find boogie men under every mis-step. It's too bad that flags were not half-mast at school in honor of Senator Kennedy, and it's easy to be uneasy about the subtleties or omissions (passive-aggressive acts); but it could be as easy as some kid on flag duty forgot and no one else looked up.

John said...

It is half staff not mast. A mast is found on a ship or boat.

Morgan said...

1 a tall upright post, spar, or other structure on a ship or boat, in sailing vessels generally carrying a sail or sails.
• a similar structure on land, esp. a flagpole or a television or radio transmitter.