January 28, 2000
TO: Individuals Interested in Proper Flag Etiquette:
I need your help!
Recent events throughout our state have raised questions about when flags may be displayed at half staff. The attached document addresses this issue.
In order to minimize confusion and embarrassment, I request that you make this information available to your constituencies.
Thank you for your assistance.
Christopher G. Lockwood, Executive Director, Maine Municipal Association
Dana F. Connors, President, Maine Chamber and Business Alliance
Joseph L. Rogers, President, Maine Chiefs of Police Association
Brian T. Lamoreau, President, Maine Sheriff's Association
Milton Cone, President, Maine Fire Chief's Association
Stan Sawyer, President, Maine School Superintendent's Association
Richard W. Tyler, Executive Director, Maine Principals' Association
Within Maine ONLY THE GOVERNOR has the authority to direct that the national or state flag fly at half staff.
- Town Managers/Selectpersons do not have that authority
- Police/Fire/Sheriff's officials do not have that authority
- Commissioners do not have that authority
- Superintendents/principals do not have that authority
Even with the authority, the Governor, under law, may only fly the flag at half staff "in the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of Maine."
Any loss of life is certainly traumatic and emotional; however, unless the deceased individual is a principal, high level, state government official, flags should not be lowered to half staff. And then only if directed by the Governor.
Any questions or comments on the above should be directed to:
Major General Earl L. Adams
Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management
Augusta, ME 04333-0033