The Instigator
vinavinx
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
teach85
Con (against)
Winning
30 Points

The American Flag should be put at half mast when a prominent and good person dies.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 909 times Debate No: 2775
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (10)

 

vinavinx

Pro

In the opening of this year a man with both religious and social prominance died. The man was the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His name was Gordon B. Hinckley. The day after he had died everywhere I looked every flag was all the way up the pole. Now the simple fact of Flags being all the way up didnt bother me. The fact that bothered me was that a few years ago when the Pope for the Christian church died EVERY flag was half mast! Both of these men were pominent men in our world. And both did a lot of good as well. Why do we not show respect for both men?

We should show respect for anybody who has a major impact on the world for the better. America is trying to recover from a time when race and color and religion were a big impact on how much respect people got in society. If a black religious leader died about a hundred years ago and he did a lot of good do you think he would be given respect at all? No, i dont think he would. However times in America have changed and race or color or religion no longer matter. The only thing that matters is how much good a person does.
teach85

Con

On June 14, 1923, the United States Congress passed regulations governing the display of the United States Flag. These regualations are known as the Flag Code.
The following is the portion of the code pertaining to display of the flag at half-staff.

�175. Position and manner of display
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m) The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. 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. As used in this subsection -
(1) the term 'half-staff' means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;
(2) the term 'executive or military department' means any agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5; and
(3) the term 'Member of Congress' means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.

To summarize: The flag is to be flown at half-staff on the followign occasions:
1. Memorial Day (only until noon)
2. Death of a governor or foreign dignitary (by order/instruction of the president)
3. For 30 days after the death of a president or former president
4. For 10 days after the death of VP, Chief Justice or former CJ, or Speaker of the House.
5. From death unitl internment for Supreme Court justices, former VP's, Cabinet members, etc.
6. 2 days for members of Congress.

In other words, the flag is a national symbol of our government, and should be used to show respect to public officials, and that's all. To over use the flag at half-staff cheapens this display of respect. Any other time is at the discrection and instruction of the President, such as the days after 9/11.
Debate Round No. 1
vinavinx

Pro

How does lowering the flag to half mast cheapen how special it is when its lowered for someone that has done more good then probably even the president himself had?
teach85

Con

The point is not how much "good" someone did (especially since such statments are so subjective!), the point is that the United States Flag is a symbol of the government of the United States. It's use and display are representative of the government and matters of state. There are plenty of other ways that separate organizations and institutions may honor individuals from within their own membership or leadership. The simple fact is that it is not appropriate to alter the displaying of the United States flag for reasons other than those of national, state-related importance: to honor public officials and military service men and women.

For many of those people, the lowering of the flag is the only wide-spread, public display of honor and respect they recieve. For some, we erect permanent memorials, monuments, or establish holidays (such as for Martin Luther King, Jr., someone who arguably served the country, but not in any official capacity, regardless of the politics of the time). But the tradition of lowering the US Flag for deceased statesmen is too important and too specific to extend to any other individual, regardless of his or her notoriaty or achievement. The lowering of the US flag is to show honor to those ONLY who have served this country in offical capacity (or if a sitting president finds another appropriate reason).

I am often troubled when in my small hometown, if a tragedy occurs, or beloved citizen passes, the American flag outside the courthouse will be lowered. While it is a very good and decent gesture to wish to express mourning and honor, it is simply not appropriate.

If someone prominent in the community dies, and the mayor of a town wishes to display a city flag lowered, that is appropriate. If a former governor of a state or state legislator dies, it is appropriate for the state to display the state flag lowered. If a faculty member or student at a university dies, and the institution has some sort of flag or banner that may be displayed differently, that is appropriate. However, none of these cases warrants altering the most important symbol of the country, the US Flag. Altering the display of the US Flag should be reserved for those occasions when Congress has mandated that it be so.

But, just for argument's sake: who would be responsible for determining when and for whom the flag is lowered? What are the criteria?
Debate Round No. 2
vinavinx

Pro

Our debate is simply evidenced off of opinion. However, I consent. Your points are clear and resonable and I frankly cant argue against them thank you for the Debate. Good luck on your future adventures.
teach85

Con

Thank you for the debate. I appreciate the respectful manner in which this was conducted. Good luck to you as well.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by proof317 6 years ago
proof317
Just as in flag burning debates, why do we waste money passing laws in regard to a peice of fabric?
There are so many other issues for congress to fix.
There should be no law governing how to fly a flag.
Out of respect, we, as supposive good humans, should choose by free will to lower that flag.
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by DrAlexander 6 years ago
DrAlexander
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Vote Placed by kels1123 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by bigdog 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by polka-dots323 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by goldspurs 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by brittwaller 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by vinavinx 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by teach85 6 years ago
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