Here’s the latest from KELO:
Governor Mike Rounds is asking that all flags in South Dakota be flown at half-staff on Saturday in honor of a former state lawmaker.
The article goes on to tell us who the gentleman was and so forth.
Here is my problem, I’m very old school when it comes to using the altitude of the state and national flags to show respect for people who have died. Please understand that my following statements mean no disrespect to the individual mentioned in this particular article, nor anyone else who has been similarly selected by Governor Rounds.
I believe we need to reserve the lowering of the flag for times when a city, state, or nation collectively mourns the loss of an American. If the city of Sioux Falls would collectively mourn the loss of a mayor or council member (or state legislator), then the city may call for the lowering of the flag. Similarly for a state or federal government.
To ask for the flag to be lowered upon the earthly departure of any and every elected official, etc is to diminish the meaning of the symbol.
Flying the flag at half-staff used to mean that something important, tragic, and of common concern to the populace had occurred. When I drove down the street and saw a flag at half-staff, I could be assured that something momentous had taken place and if I turned on the radio, it the story would be on all the stations.
Such is no longer the case. Now, when I see the flag at half-staff, I don’t even wonder who it is for. Again, I do not wish any of this to be taken as unkindness towards any who have been honored in this fashion. Instead, file it under “if we are all special, then none of us is.”