Kansas among 22 states that don’t lower flags for fallen soldiers

A story in USA Today this morning says that Kansas is among 22 states that don’t lower the flag every time one of the state’s soldiers is killed overseas. The other 28 states have different policies — sometimes lowering all flags, other times lowering flags only at request or in a soldier’s hometown. The Hall Monitor contacted the Governor’s office to see why Kansas decided to keep flags at full staff. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran wrote in an e-mail that Sebelius follows the President’s lead and the U.S. code (Title 4, Chapter 1) related to flag protocol.

“In conferring with our State’s Adjutant General very early during the Governor’s first term, it was determined that the best way to honor the memories of our soldiers is to fly our flags high with pride,” she wrote. “Our Adjutant General advised Governor Sebelius that some may see the lowering of the flag as defeat and that is not a message we would send to our troops fighting for freedom and the strength of our country. When we lower our flags on the morning of Memorial Day each year, and have a special ceremony with our Governor and families of fallen soldiers, that is our time to lower our flags and encourage all Kansans to do the same. (The President orders the US flag to be lowered at this same period.)”

For more on flag etiquette and efforts in Kansas, see Beccy Tanner’s piece in The Eagle.