You may have noticed that all the U.S. and state flags at the Billings Logan International airport, city buildings, and other locations throughout the state were at half staff today.

Why are all flags throughout Montana currently at half staff?

According to the Stars and Stripes Daily, the status of the American flag for March 25, 2022 is Half Staff, and will continue to remain in that status through Sunday, March 27, 2022.

Flags have been lowered "as a mark of respect for former Secretary of State Madeleine Korbel Albright and her life of service to our Nation," according to the proclamation made by President Biden.

I hereby order, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on March 27, 2022.  I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth. -Joseph R. Biden

Madeleine Albright made U.S. history when she was appointed the first woman Secretary of State by then-President Clinton, and "was always a force for goodness, grace, and decency — and for freedom," according to the proclamation.

Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media
Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media

Pursuant to President Biden's proclamation, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte also orders flags in the Treasure State to be flown at half staff through Sunday (3/27/2022), according to Montana Right Now.

What's the difference between half staff and half-mast?

Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media
Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media

While half-mast is sometimes used in place of half staff, flags that are lowered on ships or naval bases are considered flying half-mast. Half staff is used when flags on land are lowered "upon the death of principal figures of the United States government and others, as a mark of respect to their memory," according to Wikipedia.

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