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New York State Office of General Services - Flag Policy
Flag Policy
Overview
American FlagIt is the policy of the Office of General Services to provide appropriate arrangements for the display of the National and State flags on the exterior of all facilities under its jurisdiction. General guidelines include:
  • National and state flags are flown every day of the year, if weather permits. Weather conditions preventing the display of flags on any day include rain, sleet, or high wind. If weather is inclement at the time of flag-raising, flags should not be flown until conditions improve.
  • Flags that are illuminated can fly 24 hours a day.
  • The POW-MIA flag is to be displayed over all state buildings and facilities on Memorial Day, POW Remembrance Day (third Friday of September), and Veterans Day. This flag should be displayed beneath the national flag if there is no third staff available.
Flags at Half Staff
The national flag should be displayed at half-staff on the days noted below, or on other days by special proclamation of the United States President or New York State Governor.
  • Memorial Day - Flags must be flown at half-staff until Noon, and at top of the staff for the rest of the day.
  • Pearl Harbor Day (December 7) - Flags must be flown at half-staff.
  • Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15) - Flags must be flown at half-staff, unless that day also falls on Armed Forces Day.
  • Patriot Day (September 11) - Flags must be flown at half staff.

In addition, federal law specifies the following mandatory periods of mourning for which flags must be flown at half-staff:
  • Thirty days from the date of death of the President or former President of the United States.
  • Ten days from the date of death of the Vice President of the United States; the Chief Justice, or a retired Chief Justice of the United States; or the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
  • From the date of death until interment of a former Vice President; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; Secretary of an executive or military department; or a Governor of a state, territory, or possession.
  • The day of death and the following day for a member of Congress.
  • In the event of death of other officials, former officials or other dignitaries, the flag of the United States, as well as the New York State flag, shall be displayed at half-staff in accordance with such orders or instructions as may be issued by or at the direction of the President of the United States in accordance with recognized customs not inconsistent with the law.
  • In addition, New York State law provides that flags may be flown at half-staff during special periods of mourning designated by the President of the United States or New York State Governor, and to commemorate the death of a personage of national or state standing, or of a local serviceman, official or public servant who, in opinion of the local agency concerned, contributed to the community.

For additional information about flag display policy, refer to Title 4 U.S. Code (Flag Code) and New York State Executive Law, Article 19.