What Government Holidays Is the U.S. Flag Flown at Half Staff?


According to Title Four of the United States Code, the flag is to be flown at half-staff on Memorial Day, Peace Officers Memorial Day, and by direction of the President or a state's Governor.


"Half-staff" refers to the mid-way point between the top and bottom of the flagpole, or staff bearing the flag.


The flag is flown at half-staff out of respect of the memories of deceased soldiers and others significant to the United States.

Memorial Day

Title Four of the United States Code declares that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day, which honors the memories of those who have died in military service. At noon, the flag is raised to the top.

Peace Officers Memorial Day

May 15th is Peace Officers Memorial Day, which honors the memories of federal, state and municipal officers who have died in service. This is the other holiday on which the flag is flown at half-staff. If Peace Officers Memorial Day coincides with Armed Forces Day, the flag is flown at the top of the staff.


When the flag is flown at half-staff, it is first raised to the top of the staff, and then lowered to the halfway point. The flag is raised to the top again before being lowered completely at the end of the day.


  • Flag Information website
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs website
  • Title Four of U.S. Code on-line
Keywords: memorial day, half-staff, United States flag

About this Author

Keith Vaughn is an artist and writer in Asheville, NC. Vaughn regularly writes essays and fine art reviews for Bees And Trees Blog. He also paints and exhibits his work regularly. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Cranbrook Academy of Art.