The White House flag was lowered to half mast yesterday following the death of Senator John McCain. However, in a breach of protocol, the flag was raised to full staff this morning when tradition has it that the flag remain at half staff until the burial is complete. Many believe the full staff flag was a slight at McCain due to his constant criticism of President Trump through the years as well as the revealed request yesterday that Trump not be invited to the funeral proceedings.
Veterans group leaders led an immediate outcry:
In a statement directed to Trump, American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan wrote: “On the behalf of The American Legion’s two million wartime veterans, I strongly urge you to make an appropriate presidential proclamation noting Senator McCain’s death and legacy of service to our nation, and that our nation’s flag be half-staffed through his interment.”
VFW spokesman Joe Davis said in a statement that the organization had “asked the White House if the honor of lowering the flag to half-staff could be extended through Senator McCain’s interment.”
Shortly thereafter, the flag was once again lowered to half mast and Trump issued the following statement:
“Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment”
Thanks Chief. VP Mike Pence will deliver a statement regarding McCain on Friday during funeral ceremonies and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser John Bolton will represent the administration at the burial services Sunday at Annapolis, Maryland.
Nice move on National Heroes Day