MoD Policy on Flags at Half Mast?

Drove into work this morning, listening to continuing news coverage of the tragic deaths of Lt Col Thorneloe and Tpr Hammond. This on top on the 2 crew of the F3 killed yesterday. A very sad couple of days.

As I drove in, I was surprised to see the Union Flag and DE&S flags in their normal position (ie at the top of the pole), and not as I was perhaps expecting to see them flown at half mast. I'm not sure i really noticed this before, but it did strike me as a little odd as I was listening to the news. Accepted, the number of fatalaties is high, and this would mean doing this quite often presently- but why not?

Certainly, in previous appointments, I have always insisted that as a mark of respect, that flags are flown at half mast when such news is announced, and that an MoD organisation would perhaps even have taken a lead on such things. Before I jump on the outrage bus, can anybody give me a clue as to what Departmental, DE&S or single service policy is on flying flags at half mast?
QR's para 8.088. Basically MOD informs PJHQ etc who push the instructions down and around. Flags are half-masted on the day of death and the day of the funeral.
The Flag at RHQ RTR is at half mast today, but no others on the garrison.
Not just yet. There is a policy on the half-masting of flags issued by MOD PS12(A), and I believe contained in a document entitled 'Ceremonial for the Army' available in the AEL. Sadly my DII terminal isn't letting view the document, but everyone else is welcome to try!
You have to be carefull lowering flags....

I would beleive it would be proper for the RTR and other regiments "in mourning" to lower their flags but not neccesarily others.

Lowering of the Union Flag, for example, would indicate that the country is in mourning... it is not.

I had this arguement at Blandford with a civvie (who was punching way above her weight) who decided that the death of Retired Royal Signals Brigadier or General merited the lowering of ALL flags on camp.

To put this in perspective this lowering included the (according to her) the American and Canadian National Flags, as well as the flags of the UK, and several Royal Signals units.

She didn't seem to grasp the simple concept that lowering the Canadian or US flags would indicate they were in mourning for a guy they probably didn't even know existed!!!!

Nor did she understand how in a multinational setting how it was acceptable to have a countries flag at half mast and another at full height.

So to my mind, it would be perfectly legit for the Regimental/Battalion flags to fly at half mast, and the Union Flag at teh place of any ceremony of rememberence.
You can do what you like with your regimental flag but the union flag is only half masted when the country is in mourning. Regimental flag was normally from date of death to internment but this would be dependent on the situation as it could be some time till the funeral.
This reminds me of two lovely "flag" stories:

On the death of Princess Diana, a message was received by the watchkeeper at Fort Whiterock which ended: all flags to be flown at half mast. The watchkeeper, having meticulously recorded the contents of the message in the logbook, made a personal note: "after an extensive search of Fort Whiterock no flags were found be flown at half mast". The OC was not amused, less so when the CSM wondered aloud if the flag-flying majority in Andersonstown etc would fly theirs at half-mast.

The second was of a visit by the Duke of Edniburgh to RMAS on the morning of a significant death which warranted flags to be flown at half-mast. The RP diligently flew the flags correctly, including the Duke's standard. When he arrived he demanded to know "If HM has died why am I the last to know?".
I'm suprised they weren't lowered in memory of Michael Jackson.
So what about all the ISAF nations flags at HQ ISAF in Kabul. When I was there they would all be lowered to half mast whenever any ISAF personnel were killed. Is this correct protocal?
On the day of the death of the Queen Mum, I was working at the offices of a large multi-national company which displays numerous national flags. I remarked to one of the senior people there that the Union Flag should be flown at half mast, but wasn't sure about the protocol as no other flag ought to be flown higher than the Union Flag.

Evidently there were discussions higher up which resulted in the Union Flag being lowered by a flag height and the other flags removed entirely.

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads