Why Flags Are at Half Mast Today in New York

American Flag Status | The New York State Funeral Directors Association

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22nd Memorial of 9/11

Every year, on September 11th, the United States observes Patriot Day to honor the memory of the lives lost during the tragic events of 9/11. By a joint resolution approved on December 18, 2001, the flags are flown at half-staff throughout the day as a mark of respect and remembrance.

Half-Staff Alert in Honor of Kory Wade

In tribute to U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Kory Wade, Governor Kathy Hochul has directed all State government buildings and facilities to fly flags at half-staff on July 5th and July 6th. This act serves as a solemn gesture to recognize the sacrifice and dedication of an exceptional individual. Click here to read the Proclamation.

Half-Staff Alert in Honor of former Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch

On Wednesday, June 28th, flags on State buildings will be lowered to half-staff to honor the memory of former Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch. Governor Kathy Hochul announced this tribute as an expression of gratitude for his public service. Click here to read the Proclamation.

Half-Staff Alert In Honor of Patrick J. Hogan

Governor Kathy Hochul declared that on June 15th and 16th, flags on State buildings will be flown at half-staff in remembrance of fallen Captain Christopher J. Garrow. This act pays homage to Captain Garrow’s bravery and sacrifice. Click here to read the Proclamation.

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Honoring National Events

Half-Staff Alert – Entire United States: Memorial Day

In observance of Memorial Day, President Biden has ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon on Monday, May 29, 2023. This national gesture honors the courageous men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Click here to read the full Proclamation.

Half-Staff Alert: Peace Officers Memorial Day

To commemorate Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, President Biden has ordered all U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff on Monday, May 15, 2023. This gesture recognizes the dedication and sacrifice of law enforcement officers. Click here to read the full Proclamation.

In Honor of Allen, Texas

As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence in Allen, Texas on May 6, 2023, President Biden has ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff from May 7th to May 11th, 2023. This tribute serves as a reminder of our collective solidarity in times of tragedy. Click here to read the full Proclamation.

In Honor of Nicholas A. Georgeadis

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that flags on State buildings will be flown at half-staff on May 4th and 5th to honor the memory of fallen retired Senior Investigator Nicholas A. Georgeadis. This commemoration stands as a testament to Investigator Georgeadis’ dedication and service. Click here to read the full Proclamation.

A Proclamation to Honor Fallen Firefighters

On May 7, 2023, President Biden has ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff to honor and remember the 79 firefighters who lost their lives in 2022. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will also pay tribute to firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Click here to read the Proclamation.

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Half-Staff Alert In Honor of Patrick J. Hogan

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that on April 19th and 20th, flags on State buildings will be flown at half-staff in memory of fallen Retired Investigator Patrick J. Hogan. This gesture acknowledges Investigator Hogan’s dedication to duty. Click here to read the Proclamation.

A Proclamation in Honor of the Covenant Presbyterian School

In remembrance of the victims of the shooting at Covenant Presbyterian School in Nashville, TN, United States flags are to be displayed at half-staff until sunset on Friday, March 31, 2023. This proclamation serves to honor and remember those who lost their lives in this tragic event. Click here for the full Proclamation.

A Proclamation on Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Monterey Park, California

In memory of the victims of the shooting in Monterey Park, California, United States flags are to be displayed at half-staff until sunset on Thursday, January 26. This proclamation is a tribute to the lives lost and a call for unity in the face of tragedy. Click here for the full Proclamation.

Current Half-Staff Declarations in New York State

The following list provides details of the current half-staff declarations in New York State:

  • Sunday, May 7, 2023 | National Fallen Firefighters: Flags must be flown at half-staff.
  • Monday, May 15, 2023 | Peace Officers Memorial Day: Flags must be flown at half-staff unless that day also falls on Armed Forces Day.
  • Monday, May 29, 2023 | Memorial Day: Flags must be flown at half-staff until noon and at the top of the staff for the rest of the day.
  • Monday, September 11, 2023 | Patriot Day: Flags must be flown at half-staff.
  • Thursday, December 7, 2023 | Pearl Harbor Remembrance: Flags must be flown at half-staff.
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Proper Etiquette and Information

How long should the flag be lowered?

On standard half-staff days, except for Memorial Day, the flag is lowered at sunrise and raised back to full-staff at sunset. On Memorial Day, the flag is lowered only until noon. During days when a declaration is made in honor of victims, official declarations typically request flags to be lowered until interment, then raised back to full staff.

Respecting the American Flag

  • Q: How long should the flag be at half-staff?

    • A: Usually, the flag should be at half-staff from sunrise to sunset, but on Memorial Day, it is from sunrise to noon.
  • Q: What is the proper way to raise and lower the flag to half-staff positioning?

    • A: When raising and lowering the flag, bring it to the top of the pole for just a moment before bringing it into position or taking it in for the night.
  • Q: What if I can’t fly my flag at half-staff?

    • A: You can buy a mourning bow (black ribbon) for the top of your pole, which represents half-staff.
  • Q: Are there any requirements for flying the flag at night?

    • A: The flag must be illuminated if it is being flown in the dark.

How to Purchase a United States or New York State Flag

The New York State Office of General Services provides the opportunity to purchase the United States or New York State flag at a nominal fee. To order a flag, visit their website.


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