Never Flies At Half Mast

My friend and I got into a discussion today about the U.S. flag.
He told me that there are 10 places the flag never flies at half mast but coulnd’t recall where the places were.

My guesses were:

  1. The moon
  2. Arlington National Cemetary

Am I right? Does anyone know the awnser?


Well, thats only two

According to this site, there are only three:

While not technically a place, the U.S. flag never flies at half staff during battle.

There’s lots of places. The flag flies at half mast ONLY on a ship. Everywhere else it flies at half staff.


After a bit of googling, there doesn’t seem to be a list of ten exceptions to the rule. There are obviously exceptions, like the Alamo thing mentioned earlier, flags during battle, flags on command cars or launches, etc… but I don’t think there is a list of 10 Exceptions To The Rule.

And I’m sure the flag on the moon is subject to the rule. We have just been extremely remiss in our duty to get back there every Memorial Day and lower it.

The flag on the mast of any US Navy ship is never flown at half mast, our strength as a country is always stronger than a citizen and and lowering the flag for one could be shown as a sign of weakness. If a flag is to be flown at half staff, the flag on the fantail shall be lowered.

Words to this affect were on a plaque mounted on the flag locker located inside the OOD’s (Officer of the Day) quarters on the ship I served on in the Navy. I was a member of the ship’s color guard in an attempt to get of of mess cooking. We were responsible for the ship’s flag presentations at revielle and taps. And I still got stuck mess cooking.

I believe one of the places the flag never flies at half-staff is the Betsy Ross House, just a hop, skip and jump from where I type. Ol’ Betsy sewed her fingers to the bone to make it, and she doesn’t want ANYBODY messin’ with it.

You might be confused by the following places where the US Flag is flown 24 hours a day, by presidential proclamation or law:

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Baltimore, Maryland (Presidential Proclamation No.2795, July 2, 1948).

Flag House Square, Albemarle and Pratt Streets, Baltimore Maryland (Public Law 83-319, approved March 26, 1954).

United States Marine Corp Memorial (Iwo Jima), Arlington, Virginia (Presidential Proclamation No.3418, June 12, 1961).

On the Green of the Town of Lexington, Massachusetts (Public Law 89-335, approved November 8, 1965).

The White House, Washington, DC. (Presidential Proclamation No.4000, September 4, 1970).

Washington Monument, Washington, DC. (Presidential Proclamation No.4064, July 6,1971, effective July 4, 1971). Fifty flags of the United States are displayed at the Washington Monument continuously.

United States Customs Ports of Entry which are continually open (Presidential Proclamation No.4131, May 5, 1972).

Grounds of the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge State Park, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (Public Law 94-53, approved July 4, 1975).

Nice story but
lousy legend.


Aw, gee, Duckster, now we’ll have to close the place. Another nice scam that may someday pass away, wouldn’t bet on it though. I already knew the controversy over Miss Ross and the flag thing, but it’s always been a nice, little tourist trap. Anything to get the punters to kick in a few dollars. Ever been there? Not for the claustrophobic.

In my high school Civics class we were told about some odd-jobs our congresspeople did. For example, they give away many flags “flown over the US capitol building.” The teacher told us a crew works on the capitol roof every day, raising and lowering flags for members of congress to give away.

Was this true, and is it still done? The class, by the way, was in 1966.

BTW, it’s half staff, not half mast. A common mistake. I noticed only one poster got it right.

It’s true, and it’s still done.

You can get your own Capitol Flag here.