The following posting has been corrected, in view of information received from the governor's office on November 14.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich has ordered the lowering of the U.S. Flag in memory of M/Sgt. Thomas A. Crowell, 36, who died in Iraq in a roadside bombing on November 1, 2007. U.S. and Illinois flags are to be flown at half-staff on Illinois buildings from sunrise today until sunset on Friday. The Department of Defense lists Sgt. Crowell’s hometown as Neosho, Missouri, and he was assigned to Scott AFB, Illinois.
By the following I intend no disrespect to the late Sgt. Crowell. When the original article was posted, I believed that Governor Blagojevich had violated the U.S. Flag Code by ordering flags lowered in memory and honor of Sgt. Crowell and that he was doing so for an extraordinary and incorrect period of time.
In §175(m) of the U.S. Flag Code the Governor is authorized as follows: “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.”
The governor's office informed me today that approximately two months ago President Bush ordered that a State could lower the U.S. Flag after a member of its military unit died. I haven't seen the exact wording, but I believe it may mean following the death in combat of a resident of its state.
I detest this war in Iraq and the waste of lives it is costing us. The United States has been the cause of thousands of unnecessary deaths – U.S. citizens and civilians in Iraq.
Yes, we should honor Sgt. Crowell. I disagree with President Bush and believe we should honor him by flying the U. S. Flag at the top of the mast. Let all the world see that America is proud of its soldiers. Show that pride by keeping the flag high above the ground – at the top of the mast.