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It is traditional to fly the flag at half staff (half mast should really only relate to flags flown on board ship) on days of national mourning in the UK, such as the death of the Sovereign, or of a Prime Minister. November 9, 2008 was Remembrance Sunday when the nation remembers the dead in all conflicts since the First World War and is hence a day of national mourning. Although the Armistice (treaty to end the Great War in 1918) was signed at 11am on 11 November, it has become customary to mark the date on the nearest Sunday to that, rather than keeping to 11 November which began to cause traffic disruption in large cities. The reason for flying a flag at half staff is to leave room for the invisible flag of death being "flown" at the top of the mast, signifying the presence of death.

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15y ago
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9y ago

In the US, and perhaps also in other countries, the US flag is the symbol of the entire nation. With that said, the US flag is flown at half mast to honor the dead, or recognize a major tragedy that has affected the US. As an example, in 1963, when US President Kennedy was assassinated, the American flag flew at half mast for several days.

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16y ago

Perhaps on account of the death of someone in your community or someone associated with the organization whose flag is lowered.

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15y ago

Flags are a half mast in recognition of the passing of Senator Jack Kemp.

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Q: Why are flags flying at half mast on May 4 2009?
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