Why flags fly half-mast in four states today, this weekend (2024)

Flags are being held at half-staff across four states Friday and this weekend to honor, among others, a police officer shot and killed in the line of duty and a New York Thruway employee who died in a fatal incident at work.


In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine has ordered U.S. and state flags to be flown at half-staff until Saturday in memory of Euclid Police Officer Jacob Derbin, who was shot and killed on May 11.

According to a report by The Columbus Dispatch, Derbin, 23, had been called to a disturbance when he was ambushed by suspect Deshawn Anthony Vaughn. Vaughn, 24, was found dead in an apartment the following day.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement that it was Derbin's first year with the department.

Why flags fly half-mast in four states today, this weekend (1)

"It is a cruel irony that a mother lost her son on Mother's Day, and that this murder happened just as we prepare to solemnize our fallen during Police Memorial Week," Yost said. "My heart burns with anger at this injustice, for the family of this young officer and the Euclid Police Department."

The flags will remain at half-staff until Derbin's interment on Saturday at St. Columbkille Church, in Parma, Ohio.

New York

In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul has ordered flags on state buildings across the state to remain at half-staff in honor of Vincent "Vinny" Giammarva, a New York State Thruway Authority employee who was killed while working in the town of Chili on May 9.

According to a report by WKBW, Giammarva, 62, was hit by a tractor-trailer while in a work zone. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An obituary says that Giammarva—a "devoted husband, adoring and patient father"— had worked for the Thruway Authority for 20 years and was "revered by his co-workers as being dependable, diligent, and joyful."

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Patty, his children, Alex and Kayleigh, and grandchildren McKinley, Monroe, and Lincoln Fahnestock, among other family members.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at the American Legion, 53 West Main Street, LeRoy, New York, on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.

"Our hearts are with the Giammarva family as they grieve the senseless loss of their husband and father," Hochul said. "Our thruway workers deserve our courtesy as drivers – their lives depend on us. New Yorkers should remain alert, slow down and move over when approaching a work zone."

New Hampshire

Governors in Iowa and New Hampshire have also called for flags to be lowered as part of events commemorating the lives lost and the services of state law enforcement.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has directed flags to be flown at half-staff on Friday in recognition of the 32nd New Hampshire Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial Ceremony, honoring the lives of state law enforcement killed in the line of duty.

A ceremony, open to the public, is being held Friday at the Law Enforcement Memorial on the lawn of the Legislative Office Building, 25 Capitol Street, Concord.


In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds has ordered flags to be lowered for the Iowa Peace Memorial Ceremony and National Police Week until Saturday.

This year's memorial will honor, among others, Officer Kevin Cram of the Algona Police Department and Officer Phoukham Tran of the Des Moines Police Department, who both died last year.

Cram was shot and killed on September 13 while trying to arrest a suspect on an outstanding warrant. Suspect Kyle Rickie, 43, has been charged with first-degree murder.

Tran died on November 2, 2023. A report by the Des Moines Register said he had been critically injured in August 2011 after being hit by a truck at the Iowa State Fair. His death was said to have been associated with complications from his recovery.

"Officer Cram and Officer Tran served their communities with pride and compassion," Reynolds said in a statement. "As we reflect on the impact of their lives and service, let us never forget the lasting significance of the sacrifice they made. To their brothers and sisters in law enforcement, you are the legacy keepers of our fallen heroes."

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Why flags fly half-mast in four states today, this weekend (2024)


Why are flags at half-mast in USA? ›

In most cases, an American flag flying at half-staff marks one of three observances: The death of a government official, military member, or emergency first responder. A national tragedy. Memorial Day or another national day of remembrance.

What is the flag status today in Texas? ›

The Texas flag is at full-staff today.

In addition to state agencies, all individuals, businesses, municipalities, counties and political subdivisions are encouraged to fly their Texas and United States flags as a mark of respect and honor for Texas and the United States.

Should you fly the flag today? ›

The U.S. flag can be flown every day, from sunrise to sunset, but is required to be flown on the customary days listed in the calendar below to show patriotism, weather permitting. There are also certain days that the POW/MIA flag is customarily flown.

What days do you fly the flag in 2024? ›

Federal Holidays 2024
January 1 (fixed)New Year's Day
June 19 (fixed)Juneteenth National Independence Day
July 4 (fixed)Independence Day
July 27 (fixed)National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
August 4 (fixed)Coast Guard Birthday
38 more rows

Is it illegal to fly a flag at night without a light? ›

The Flag Code states it is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flag staffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

How long do flags remain at half-mast? ›

The death of the president or a former president: 30 days. The death of the vice president: 10 days. The death of the current (or retired) chief justice of the Supreme Court: 10 days. The death of the speaker of the House of Representatives: 10 days.

Why is there 6 flags Over Texas? ›

"Six flags over Texas" is the slogan used to describe the six sovereign countries that have had control over some or all of the current territory of the U.S. state of Texas: Spain (1519–1685; 1690–1821), France (1685–1690), Mexico (1821–1836), the Republic of Texas (1836–1845), the United States (1845–1861; 1865– ...

How many flags fly over the state of Texas? ›

Many flags have flown over Texas with varying degrees of sovereign authority and of these, six are most widely mentioned in the history of Texas. They are the sovereign flags of Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Southern Confederacy, and the United States.

What is the current flag of Texas? ›

Flag of Texas
The Lone Star Flag
UseCivil and state flag
AdoptedJanuary 25, 1839 (by the Republic of Texas) Readopted: August 31, 1933 (De facto use 1879–1933)
DesignOne-third of the hoist is blue containing a single centered white star. The remaining field is divided horizontally into a white and red bar.
4 more rows

Should American flag be taken down in rain? ›

Important Things to Remember

The flag should not be subject to weather damage, so it should not be displayed during rain, snow and wind storms unless it is an all-weather flag. It should be displayed often, but especially on national and state holidays and special occasions.

What are five things not allowed under the Flag Code? ›

The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

Do you fly the flag on Juneteenth? ›

Beginning in 2020, many states began recognizing Juneteenth by flying the flag over their state capitol buildings, especially after Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday by President Joe Biden the following year. Upper half is blue and lower half is red. Colors are divided by a horizontal arch.

What Flag Day is today? ›

Flag Day is a holiday celebrated on June 14 in the United States. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

What are the rules for flying a flag at home? ›

When hanging your flag vertically, the union must always face the observer's left or the flag's own right. Attaching it to a windowsill, the front porch, or any other area is appropriate as long as you never let the flag touch the ground.

Why are there 50 stars on the American flag but 52 states? ›

The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states and the 13 stripes represent the original Thirteen Colonies that rebelled against the British crown and became the first states in the Union. Nicknames for the flag include "the Stars and Stripes", "Old Glory", and "the Star-Spangled Banner".

What does the American flag represent today? ›

The American flag remains a living piece of history and a source of pride and unity for all Americans. The Stars and Stripes embodies the very qualities that make our nation great: liberty, justice, freedom, love of country and national purpose.

What are the 5 American flag rules? ›

Displaying the Flag
  • On Same Staff. U.S. flag at peak, above any other flag.
  • Grouped. U.S. flag goes to its own right. ...
  • Marching. U.S. flag to marchers right (observer's left).
  • On Speaker's Platform. ...
  • Decoration. ...
  • Salute. ...
  • Over a Street Union (stars) face north or east depending on the direction of the street.
  • Half Staff.

What do the seven red stripes on the flag mean? ›

The stripes represent the original 13 Colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.


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