President Obama Didn’t Lower Flags for Chattanooga Shooting-Truth! & Outdated!
Summary of eRumor:
Social media posts question why President Obama didn’t issue a proclamation to lower flags to half mast after four servicemen were killed at a military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
It’s true that President Obama didn’t initially order flags lowered after four military recruiters were killed in mass shootings in Chattanooga.
But after public backlash, President Obama later issued a proclamation to fly flags on federal grounds at half staff to honor the servicemen who lost their lives.
President Obama called for the flags to be lowered on July 21. That was five days after a man named Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire at two military installations in Chattanooga, killing four servicemen. The proclamation reads:
HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE TRAGEDY IN CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Our thoughts and prayers as a Nation are with the service members killed last week in Chattanooga. We honor their service. We offer our gratitude to the police officers and first responders who stopped the rampage and saved lives. We draw strength from yet another American community that has come together with an unmistakable message to those who would try and do us harm: We do not give in to fear. You cannot divide us. And you will not change our way of life.
We ask God to watch over the fallen, the families, and their communities. As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 16, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order 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, July 25, 2015. 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-first day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.
There isn’t a clear policy for when flags are lowered to half-staff after national tragedies. But in the past, President Obama has ordered that flags be flown at half staff after mass shootings, including shootings at military installations, the Washington Post reports:
On the issue of lowering the flags, Obama seemed to hear the mounting Republican criticism and respond to it. There are no clear or consistent rules that apply to lowering flags to half-staff. Obama ordered flags lowered after the mass shooting at Fort Hood in 2009 but didn’t lower them when a gunman struck last year at the Army post in Texas.
He has lowered flags almost immediately after mass shootings in Tucson; Aurora, Colo.; Newtown, Conn.; Oak Creek, Wis.; and the Washington Navy Yard.
He has ordered flags to half-staff after the deaths of American icons such as Neil Armstrong, Edward M. Kennedy, Dorothy Height and Frank Buckles, the nation’s last surviving World War I veteran.
But he didn’t lower the flag after last month’s shooting in Charleston, S.C.
Controversy over when flags are lowered after the deaths of public figures isn’t new, either. In February 2014, reports went viral that President Obama ordered flags to half staff after the death of Whitney Houston — but not for Shirley Temple Black.
In truth, Obama issued no such proclamation. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered flags to half-staff in New Jersey, where Whitney Houston was from, after her death. Click here to read a complete report on that eRumor.