Half-mast

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by jlwilkes101, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. jlwilkes101

    jlwilkes101 Member

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    I've been thinking about this for a while, and I thought I would ask all of you for your opinions. When I look up to see the America flag, I feel lifted up. I look up to the American flag, because it represents all the ideals, hopes, and promises of our nation. I cannot bear to look at it when it is at half mast, because it seems to me that those ideals are being lowered. I researched the origin of this tradition, and found that the flag was lowered to make room for the 'invisible flag of death', which must fly above. Frankly, I do not believe that this is in keeping with the idea of sacrifice. When a soldier dies, he is sacrificing his life to keep the ideals of our nation above those of death and destruction. How does it make sense to honor that sacrifice by symbolically lowering the ideals of the USA beneath those of death?
    After researching this, I did not find a large debate about this topic, which makes me think I may be in the extreme minority. If so, I would hope that someone would explain to me why I am seeing this wrong. But as it is, if I join the army and am killed in action, I would hope that no flags would be lowered because of it.
     
  2. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    While you may personally equate the flag with representing all sorts of intangible attributes of the nation , but in reality it is a physical and offical symbol of the USA as an entity. Dipping the flag is the equivalent of an individuals salute. Lowering the flag to Half Staff is a more permanent collective salute made by the country of which the flag is a tangible inanimate representive. Just as a Medal of Honor recipient is due a salute from every military member regardless of Rank because it's an acknowledgement of the extraordinary fete performed by that individual, so the lowering of the flag is the physical method that the United States as a collective has of recognizing and saluting the extraordinary services rendered by someone to it.
     

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