In deference to the proclamation issued this afternoon by President Barack Obama, and in accordance with federal law, Governor Mark Dayton has revised his Memorial Day proclamation. The Governor's revised proclamation orders all United States flags and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the State of Minnesota, from sunrise until noon on Monday, May 26, 2014, in honor of those who have served on our behalf.
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, "On Memorial Day the flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation’s battle heroes."
For 142 years, Americans have taken the last Monday in May to remember those who have died in our wars. Like all deaths honored by the state, flags fly at half-staff. However, on Memorial Day, the U.S. flag only flies at half-staff for the first half of the day, and then is raised to full height from noon to sundown. This unique custom honors the war dead for the morning, and living veterans for the rest of the day.
In 1924, Congress codified the tradition into U.S. Code Title 4, Section 6, with the proclamation, “For the nation lives, and the flag is a symbol of illumination,” explaining how the noon flag-raising symbolizes the persistence of the nation in the face of loss.
In keeping with appropriate flag etiquette and U.S. Code, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton may order the state flag to be flown at half-staff under very limited circumstances. He may also order the national flag to be flown at half-staff on state property only. A state flag on state property is required by law to be flown at half-staff if the national flag is flown at half-staff.
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