How many flags are allowed to be on one pole?

Is a flag ever flown up side down at half-mast, more than 1 and why?

  • 3
    When and where? The 'rules' aren't fixed around the world. Mar 19 '19 at 20:16
  • 1
    The rules differ by country. Perhaps you could edit your question to explain what is missing from, or incomplete about, the Wikipedia page Mar 19 '19 at 20:16
  • @sempaiscuba is this better?
    – Muze
    Mar 19 '19 at 20:25
  • @Muze You still don't say where you are asking about. Your profile page says you are in Vermont, so your first question may be answered by (for example) this page from USHistory.org Mar 19 '19 at 20:33
  • 1
    Is this about history?
    – MCW
    Mar 19 '19 at 22:38

A flag is flown at half-mast in memoriam as long as deemed appropriate by the head-of-state of the sovereignty. Note that in U.S. state governors are deemed to be sovereign within their states in this regard. (The precise delineation between Gubernatorial and Presidential authority in this regard is a Constitutional Law issue on which SCOTUS hasn't ruled on yet (to the best of my knowledge).)

For the death of a particularly important personage of a sovereignty it is traditional to fly the flag at half-mast until internment. This was, for example if perhaps reluctantly, the case for the death last summer of John McCain.

President Trump belatedly issued a statement praising McCain's service to the country, and signed a proclamation ordering flags to be flown at half-staff until McCain's interment

In both Canada and the U.S. protocol is that a flag is flown upside down only as a signal of extreme distress; otherwise doing so is regarded as desecration.

  • 3
    @Muze: "distress; not disgrace. It's is a call for aid due to dire life-threatening circumstances. Mar 19 '19 at 20:35
  • 2
    @PieterGeerkens "U.S. state governors are deemed to be sovereign within their states in this regard" - does that also hold true for flags flying over Federal institutions (e.g. FBI offices) located in those states? Mar 19 '19 at 20:41
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    @JMS: We Canadians have learned to be pleasantly surprised when you get things right in regards Canada- not disappointed when you get it wrong. Mar 19 '19 at 21:57
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    @PieterGeerkens I'm not sure that SCOTUS needs to be consulted. My understanding is that (since 1923) the rules have been established by the US Flag Code (as amended), and also (since 1954) by Eisenhower's Proclamation 3044 which sets specific times for different officials. Mar 19 '19 at 22:08
  • 1
    @PieterGeerkens, I remember watching that game and seeing the Canadian flag upside down, First World Series featuring a Canadian team, and just covering my eyes... how embarrassing, was that.
    – user27618
    Mar 19 '19 at 22:18

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