It’s not something we want to do as it usually marks national sorrow and respect. However, it’s also not something you can afford to get wrong or adhere to!
That’s why we’ve put together a few tips on how to fly the Union flag at half-mast correctly. Flagmakers have tried to remove as much flag jargon as possible and below are some key basics. We hope you never need to use this knowledge… but if you a flag its certainly worth knowing! You never know it might even come in hand at the pub quiz instead.
Flying a flag at half-mast means that the flag is one third down from the top, a good guide is that there should be at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag at the top of the pole
- When a flag is lowered to half-mast it should first be hoisted all the way to the top of the pole and then lowered
- Flags should not be flown half-masted on wall mounted poles that are more than 45 degrees from vertical, a suitable alternative is the addition of a Mourning Cravat (pictured)
- When being lowered from half-mast the Union Flag should be raised again to the top of the pole before being lowered
- Strictly speaking the half-masting of flags is at the command of the Sovereign but it is un-likely that the lowering of the Union Flag as a mark of respect would be objected to.
An important piece of half-masting protocol is that the Royal Standard should never be lowered as it represents the Monarchy, which is continuous so it is not appropriate to use this flag.