To the editor:
President Obama has now politicized the United States flag. In the last three weeks, Obama has twice ordered the flag to be flown at half staff in government buildings across the country for no reason, other than politics. US Code, section 175, deals with flag etiquette.
It states: "By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff. The flag shall be flown at half-staff thirty days from the death of the President or a former President; ten days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress."
In the last couple of weeks, Obama ordered the flag to be flown at half-staff for crime victims in two swing states, Colorado and Wisconsin, both states sites of mass murder by psychopaths. Note, however, that, despite the fact that more than twice as many murders take place in his own home city of Chicago in any month (311 so far this year) than in both the Colorado and Wisconsin shootings combined, with 12 on a single day in July, the same number killed in Colorado,
Obama has NOT ordered U.S. flags to fly at half-staff for the Chicago murder victims. We have soldiers, police and firemen getting killed every day in this country, and, correctly, the President does not order the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff for those individuals. The decision to so honor those people who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty is left to the state and local officials where they worked or resided, and the U.S. flag is appropriately flown at half-staff locally to honor those who died in service to their nation or their community.
Clearly Obama is doing this for political reasons. It is yet another example of the depths to which he will go to achieve a political purpose. Flag code, like the Constitution, was just fine as written. This administration needs to stop abusing their power anytime they feel like it.