Flags at major tourist sites, such as palaces and royal residences, may have been one of the first things people noticed after the announcement.
The British government issued guidelines for proper flag display after the passing of Her Majesty the Queen. This instruction comes straight from the new Sovereign, King Charles III.
The Union flag and all other official flags must be lowered to half-staff immediately. The only flag that won’t be moved is the Royal Standard. Due to the fact that there must be a currently reigning monarch, King Charles III ascended to the throne immediately.
A flag flown at half-mast is a sign of respect or mourning in many cultures. Some say the custom dates back to the 17th century and is explained by the fact that a “flag of death,” which is invisible to the naked eye, is flown above the lowered national flag.
The meaning of flying a flag at half mast can change from country to country. Some argue that the flag should be flown at half its full height from the top of the pole, while others point out that this is against British law. Others, however, interpret it to mean something more like “halfway down the pole.”
In addition to the death of the current Sovereign, the flag may be flown at half mast in the United Kingdom for the funerals of other members of the royal family, Prime Ministers, and foreign rulers.
In Honor Of Queen Elizabeth II
The American flag is at half-staff at the White House and all other federal buildings, military installations, ships, and embassies.
After 70 years on the throne, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch passed away on Thursday at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Her 73-year-old son King Charles III has taken her place.
President Joe Biden has ordered the United States flag to fly at half-mast until the conclusion of the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II. The late monarch met 13 of the last 14 U.S. presidents, with the exception of Lyndon B. Johnson.
Biden issued the following statement, which was released by the White House: “As a mark of respect for the memory of Queen Elizabeth II, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government.”
“I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.” – US President
The Queen And President Biden First Met In 1982
Vice President Biden led a Senate delegation to the United Kingdom. While Britain was hosting the G7 summit in Cornwall in June 2021, she welcomed the Bidens to Windsor Castle.
After the death of the Queen, both President Obama and First Lady Jill Biden offered heartfelt tributes.
In a joint statement, they reflected on Queen Elizabeth II’s life and legacy, saying, “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She was the epitome of her time.
Many Britons, including those born after her death, have never known a time when the monarchy was not in power. People all over the Commonwealth shared a deep and abiding respect for Queen Elizabeth II.
During the seven decades of her historic reign, humanity made unprecedented progress and human dignity made great strides forward.
The bond between the United Kingdom and the United States was strengthened under Queen Elizabeth II, who was a stateswoman of unparalleled dignity and constancy. She contributed to the uniqueness of our bond.
Flags At Half Mast In The UK
The U.K. has entered 10 days of national mourning. During this time Queen Elizabeth II will lie in state in Edinburgh and London prior to her funeral.
All official flags, including the National Union flag, will fly at half-mast until 8 a.m. the day after her funeral.
The Queen was also monarch of 14 other countries, known as the Commonwealth realms. It includes Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.
Since the Queen’s passing, the Union flag has been flown at half-mast over all government buildings. Including the Houses of Parliament, and all royal residences when the monarch is not in residence.
The process for lowering flags on government buildings is coordinated by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport.
Flags were expected to be lowered within 10 minutes of the announcement of the Queen’s death. With Downing Street reportedly expressed concern that the Government would face a wave of public anger if it did not.
- Immediately following the announcement at 6:36 p.m. on Thursday, the flags outside of Downing Street were lowered.
- Except when the Sovereign is in residence at a royal palace, the Royal Standard, which represents the perpetuation of the monarchy, is always flown at full mast.
- Following the formal proclamation of King Charles III as the new monarch at around 1 pm on Saturday, September 10, all official flags were hoisted back to their full mast positions.
- Some officials raised them at 11 a.m., and the final proclamation is expected to be made at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
- Flags will be lowered to half-staff again as a mark of respect for the late monarch.
Why Are Flags Lowered To Half-Mast?
A flag is at half-mast when it is flown below the top of a ship’s mast, a land pole, or a building’s flagpole. The gesture is interpreted as a sign of respect, mourning, distress, or a salute in a number of different cultures.
Half-staff, not half-mast, is the term used in the United States. Even though it’s called a “half-mast,” in British custom the flag is flown at least halfway up the pole, with at least another flag’s height separating it from the peak.
Flags are flown at full mast from 11 a.m. until sunset from the time of the announcement of the death until the time of the funeral of the sovereign.
- As per the Sovereign’s orders, the Royal Family’s funerals
- State-ordered funerals for foreign heads of state
- British Prime Ministerial and Former Prime Minister Funerals, Per Royal Command
- When the Sovereign so determines on other Occasions
The custom was first used in the 17th century. As reported by some, the flag is lowered to make way for an “invisible flag of death” flying overhead.
Flags may be flown at half-mast on government buildings in the United Kingdom on the following days:
Flags will remain at half-staff until Monday, September 19th, 2022. The end of the official period of mourning in the United Kingdom following the Queen’s state funeral.
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