Not long ago, I opined on the frequency with which the flag seems to fly at half-staff these days. One of those who commented on the piece said that he was unsure of the number of times this had occurred.
As a result, I contacted Governor Round’s office and requested information about half-staff flags since January 1, 2009 (to get enough data to work with). I received the following in reply from a Ms. Anderson:
Governor Rounds asked the Bureau of Administration to provide you with the information you requested in your email of August 28, 2010. I reviewed the press releases issued by the Governor’s Office from January 1, 2009 through August 31, 2010. Based on that research, I found that 24 Flags at Half-Staff requests have been issued in that time period, with 15 of them for South Dakotans and the remaining nine in honor of national officials or in response to requests from the President.
Presidential requests include the standard days such as Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and Patriot’s Day (9/11). Non-presidential requests included ones to honor fallen SD-related servicepeople and former legislators, etc.
20 months–24 requests for the flag to fly at half-staff. I believe this is why it seems often to me, since it is more frequent than once a month, on average.