Half-Staff American flag catches on branches

By Cheryl Rings

Q: I have a 25 foot flag pole.  It is difficult to fly at half mast.  The flag tangles in bushes and porch.  What can I do?  I was told, there is a black banner I can fly bellow the US Flag to indicate mourning , is this true?  If so where do I purchase one?  THANKS

Mourning Ribbon instead of Half-Staff for American Flag
Mourning Ribbon instead of Half-Staff for American Flag

A: The black ribbon is typically used for a flagpole that is mounted to the side of the building but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be alright to use it the way you’re talking about. The mourning ribbon is based on the size of your flag and would attach with the top of the flag to the same clip as your flag.

The other options you’ve got are:

  1. Leave your American Flag at full staff (the lowering is only mandatory for government buildings)
  2. Trim your branches or anything that touches the flag
  3. Fly a smaller American Flag on these occasions that doesn’t touch anything when at half staff



If you have any flag or flagpole related questions, please contact Gettysburg Flag Works and we will do our best to get your accurate answers.  Have a banner day!

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