National Days of Remembrance

National days of remembrance regarding military events like Patriot Day, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and Memorial Day typically carry a half-mast, or half-staff, order. With the exception of Memorial Day, when the half-mast order ends at noon, the American flag is at half-staff from sunrise until sunset on the days of the order.

Presidential Proclamation

Flag at Half Mast

The U.S. President can dictate by proclamation when, and for how long, the American flag is flown at half-mast. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the flag should fly at half-staff for 30 days following the death of a current or former president, and for 10 days after the death of the vice president and other government officials.

Bottom Line

American flag

For a half-mast order issued for a day of remembrance, the flag flies accordingly between sunrise and sunset for only that day. For a Presidential proclamation, the event leading to the order will dictate the number of days the flag will fly; but the sunrise-to-sunset rule remains in effect.