Joe Biden decided to fly flags at half-staff but then changed his own mind, or what is left of it, on the order he gave to honor fallen police officers.
Biden originally ordered the flags to fly at half staff across the nation to honor the fallen officers, The Washington Post reported.
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2021, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 9 through May 15, 2021, as Police Week. I call upon all Americans to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also call on the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag from their homes and businesses on that day,” Biden said in a proclamation last week.
But he changed that not long after and ordered that the flag remain at full staff.
The Post explained, what it says, is the reason for the change.
It’s because of a quirk that comes up every half dozen years or so, when a day that honors two groups collides — with two different protocols for the American flag. For Peace Officers Memorial Day, which falls on May 15, flags are supposed to be at half-staff. But the third Saturday in May is marked to honor Armed Forces Day — and on that day, flags are supposed to be full-staff.
On Saturday, those two days were one and the same.
Biden’s initial proclamation last week said that flags should be flown at half-staff. But he reissued a proclamation on Friday making clear that flags were to remain at full-staff.
The White House declined to comment on the record about the change, but suggested that it was done to remain in compliance with U.S. codes honoring Armed Forces Day.
“The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day,” a UD Code pertaining to the flag says.
“This weekend is a once-in-a-decade scenario based on the flag code,” a White House official said. “As a result, flag code dictates that the flags should not be lowered today. The president stands by the message of his proclamation and his longtime commitment to working with law enforcement to build safer communities.”
But that excuse was not believable to some Republicans who believe that Biden caved to the anti-police wing of his party.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu was furious at the decision and is one of those who does not believe the excuse.
“Late tonight Joe Biden quietly tried to reverse his Peace Officers Memorial Day Proclamation, hoping no one would notice they are no longer calling for flags to fly at Half Staff across the USA honoring our men women in blue. This is outrageous and precedent breaking,” he said on Twitter.
“On May 10th, the Biden Administration announced in a release flags would be flying at Half Staff across the country to honor our heroes on the front line. Tonight, in the eleventh hour, the Biden Administration is now no longer calling for flags to fly at Half Staff.
“New Hampshire will continue to honor the men and women who have died or been injured in the line of duty by flying flags at Half Staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day as we have always done, and as is right.
“New Hampshire’s law enforcement are the best in the country, and they are owed an explanation for this sudden reversal. I call on New Hampshire’s congressional delegation to join with me in rejecting this disrespectful decision,” he said.
“In his opinion they aren’t worthy of lowering the flags,” Republican Florida Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) said on Twitter. “Unacceptable!”
“In case you had any question as to where President Biden stands on police, now you know,” former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.