Office of the Governor - Greg Abbott

Flag Status

The Texas flag is at half-staff today, Saturday, April 18, 2015

The State of Texas has lost an honored leader with the passing of former Railroad Commissioner Buddy Temple.  As a mark of respect for his service as a statewide elected official, it seems fitting that flags should be lowered to half-staff in memory of this highly regarded leader.

As such, pursuant to Chapter 3100 of the Texas Government Code and 4 U.S.C. § 7, I direct that the Texas and United States flags be lowered statewide on Saturday, April 18, 2015, in honor of the life and public service of Arthur "Buddy" Temple, III.  Flags should be returned to full-staff on the following day.  Individuals, businesses, municipalities, counties and other political subdivisions and entities are encouraged to fly their flags at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of honor and respect for this admired leader.

The First Lady and I extend our prayers of comfort to his wife Ellen and the entire Temple family during their time of grief and urge all Texans to remember and honor his service to the State of Texas.

Respectfully,

 

GREG ABBOTT
Governor

General Instructions on the Proper Display of the Flag

The Texas Government Code directs the methods and means of displaying the Texas flag. In addition to state agencies, all individuals, businesses, municipalities, counties and political subdivisions are encouraged to fly their Texas and United States flags as a mark of respect and honor for Texas and the United States. Specific questions concerning the proper display of the flag should be answered by consulting Texas Government Code Chapter 3100.

Note that when the flag is to be displayed at half-staff, the flag should first be raised briskly to full-staff and then lowered slowly to half-staff.

Some entities maintain facilities that display other flags, pennants and banners (such as replicas of the six historic flags that have flown over Texas). Each entity is responsible for determining its own policy regarding these flags and adornments when flags are to be flown at half-staff, but note that no flag may fly higher than the Texas or United States flag. It is recommended that in displays such as those containing the six historic flags that have flown over Texas, when flags are ordered to half-staff, the Texas and United States flags should be flown at half-staff and the other flags be removed completely from the display for the duration of the time flags are at half-staff. State agencies or political subdivisions are not required to schedule employees to work non-usual hours for the sole purpose of flying the flags at half-staff.

The following are a few important state and federal laws concerning the proper display of the Texas and United States flags:

Texas Statutes Related to the Proper Display of the Flag

Texas Government Code § 3100. STATE FLAG
DISPLAY ON FLAGPOLE OR FLAGSTAFF WITH FLAGS OF OTHER STATES, OTHER NATIONS, OR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.
(a) If the state flag is displayed with the flag of another state of the United States, of a nation other than the United States, or of an international organization, the state flag:
  (1) should be, from the perspective of an observer, to the left of the other flag on a separate flagpole or flagstaff; and
  (2) should not be above the other flag on the same flagpole or flagstaff or on a taller flagpole or flagstaff than the flagpole or flagstaff on which the other flag is displayed.
(b) This section does not apply to the United States, including the armed services, if federal custom or practice requires another manner of display.

Texas Government Code. § 3100.065. DISPLAY AT HALF-STAFF. 
(a) If the state flag is to be displayed at half-staff, the flag should be hoisted to the peak of the flagpole for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position.
(b) Before the state flag is lowered for the day, it should first be raised to the peak of the flagpole.
(c) On Memorial Day, the state flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon and at that time raised to the peak of the flagpole.
(d) The state flag should be displayed at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15, unless that date is also Armed Forces Day.
(e) By order of the governor, the state flag shall be displayed at half-staff on a person's death as a mark of respect to the memory of that person.

Federal Statutes Related to the Proper Display of the Flag

United States Code Title 4 – Chapter 1: The Flag.
§7. Position and manner of display
(c) No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof: Provided, That nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations.

(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 or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff, and the same authority is provided to the Mayor of the District of Columbia with respect to present or former officials of the District of Columbia and members of the Armed Forces from the District of Columbia. When the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, or the Mayor of the District of Columbia, issues a proclamation under the preceding sentence that the National flag be flown at half-staff in that State, territory, or possession or in the District of Columbia because of the death of a member of the Armed Forces, the National flag flown at any Federal installation or facility in the area covered by that proclamation shall be flown at half-staff consistent with that proclamation. The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President; 10 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 flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day. 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, United States Code; and
(3) the term “Member of Congress” means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.

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