Letter to the editor: When should the American flag be lowered to half-mast to honor a deserving American?


Recently, a very good friend passed of COVID-19. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran, member of the American Legion, pastor and worker for The Salvation Army and a retired Sumter fireman. He is one of the finest Christians I've ever known and a super family man. I called the American Legion to ask if they would lower the U.S. flag to half-mast, and they did, and I thanked them. I also asked the Sumter Fire Department, from which he retired, and was told that they have to ask higher authority, but they didn't think it would be a problem.

The day of the burial, the fire department members were honorable pallbearers. I asked if they had lowered the flag to half-mast. I was told, "No." They were told only the president of the United States could order the flag half-mast. I was also told that the fire department could be sued if they did. I wonder if President Biden would have any problem lowering the flag for an American citizen that served both his country and his community?

I would have no problem being held accountable for this action. It would be a great pleasure to me to honor such a great man.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my concern. I'd like to hear what other Sumterites feel about this.