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Carson mayor stripped of half-staff flag-flying power

The mayor of Carson has been stripped of his power to have the U.S. flag fly at half-staff outside City Hall after military veterans and flag experts got upset when he had it lowered to honor Michael Jackson.

Mayor Jim Dear ordered the flag to half-staff July 7, the date of the pop star's funeral. But then local veterans and experts on flag protocol pointed out that mayors have no authority to lower the flag under the U.S. Flag Code.

The Daily Breeze has more:

"I got e-mails, letters sent to me, and phone calls," Dear said, noting the communication was about 80 percent negative. "To me, it's a generational thing. Michael Jackson appeals to a younger generation of people, and an older generation has no interest."

Dear was acting under a city policy, in place since 1996, that included the provisions of the Flag Code but also allowed the mayor to order flags to half-staff when deemed "proper." But as several critics pointed out, the Flag Code gives that power only to the president. Governors may also order the flag to half-staff upon the death of an active-duty serviceman or a current or former state official.
Comments () | Archives (7)

Mayor Dear is right on this one. It comes down to a matter of personal opinion. I wouldn't have lowered the flag for Jackson myself, but clearly he was of great significance to many people and the City of Carson may want to acknowledge that.

If it were just a question of the President or Governor ordering the flag lowered, then why do we see them lowered when firefighters or sheriff's deputies or other local politicians past and present die? Sometimes I see Sherrif's lower the flag for their own, but NOT for other notable deaths in the same city and county. Is this just a double standard of appropriateness raising its head? Lower the flag for some - the ones I approve of - but not for others.

Wow. Military people are SO lame.

I agree, lowering the flag for Michael Jackson is pretty silly. but then, they apparently did it at Angel Stadium too (I had to keep asking myself a couple of weeks ago, wait who died? I never really got an answer, and this was the game where something happened in our section so I never remembered to find out why after that)

I was living in New Hampshire when then-President Nixon re-instated diplomatic relations with Communist China. The arch-Conservative governor of New Hampshire, Meldrim Thompson, ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff. And he actually liked Nixon....

Not a generational thing. It still means something to lower the flag at half-staff. I don't want it to be brought down to whomever has the most money, power, or stardome. For those people like Michael Jackson, there's NBC, ABC, CBS, and Entertainment Tonight to honor them in hours long tributes. Let's keep it that way!

military people? what are you even talking about? this has nothing to do with the military, nothing at all. get a clue. but I guess since you put "SO" in caps it makes it true, and relevant to this story.

the funny part is Melanie can't even spell her own name correctly. pretty big statement about our youth right there.

Good for Jim. My students attend a school 2 blocks from City Hall and a lot of the people in the area thought it was a good gesture.


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