Honoring a Legacy, A Nation Pays Respect with Half-Staff Flags For Rosalynn Carter

Flags Lowered for Rosalynn Carter’s Legacy

In a heartfelt tribute to the legacy of the late former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, President Joe Biden has ordered flags across the United States to fly at half-staff. This somber gesture, lasting from Saturday until her burial on Wednesday, November 29, is a poignant mark of respect for the memory of a remarkable woman who left an indelible impact on the nation.

Rosalynn Carter'

RELATED ARTICLE Flags Are Flying at Half-Staff to Honor Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter

Rosalynn Carter, the trailblazing wife of former President Jimmy Carter, passed away on November 19 at the age of 96, leaving a void that reverberated across the country. The news of her death came after her family announced that she was entering hospice care, having been diagnosed with dementia in May.

President Biden, aged 81, signed a proclamation on Tuesday, November 21, directing the lowering of U.S. flags as a sign of mourning. In a touching statement, he declared that flags would 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.” The president also extended the gesture to U.S. embassies, legations, consular offices, and other overseas facilities, ensuring a global acknowledgment of Rosalynn Carter’s contributions.

The tradition of flying flags at half-staff holds profound significance in American culture. It is a visual manifestation of national mourning, observed after the passing of government officials, military personnel, or during times of collective remembrance. The origins of this practice are somewhat unclear, but it has evolved into a symbol of both distress and respect.

Federal law, formalized by Congress in 1942, grants the president the authority to order flags at half-staff, outlining guidelines for various occasions. In the case of Rosalynn Carter, the duration of this symbolic tribute aligns with protocols for figures such as Supreme Court justices, cabinet secretaries, governors, former vice presidents, or former House speakers—flags lowered from the day of death until interment.

The mourning period for Rosalynn, from Saturday to Wednesday, exceeds the customary two days allotted for the passing of members of Congress. President Biden’s decision to extend this tribute reflects the significant impact Rosalynn Carter had on the nation, acknowledging her extraordinary contributions to various causes.

The legacy of Rosalynn Carter is a tapestry woven with threads of leadership, advocacy, and unwavering commitment. President Biden, in his proclamation, fondly remembered her as a champion for equal rights and opportunities for women and girls, an advocate for mental health and wellness, and a supporter of often unseen and uncompensated caregivers.

Rosalynn’s commitment to mental health was exemplified during her tenure as the honorary chair of the President’s Commission on Mental Health in April 1977. Her advocacy for caregivers and her dedication to addressing societal needs have left an enduring impact on the nation.

President Biden also acknowledged the enduring love shared between Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, describing their relationship as the epitome of partnership and their humble leadership as the definition of patriotism. Former President Carter, in a poignant statement after his wife’s passing, reflected on Rosalynn’s role as his equal partner, offering wise guidance and unwavering support throughout their 77-year marriage.

The lowering of flags not only symbolizes national mourning but also unifies the country in a collective expression of gratitude and respect for an exceptional individual. State and local flags, flying below the United States flag in all instances, will join this gesture of unity, fostering a sense of national solidarity.

As the nation mourns the passing of Rosalynn Carter, plans are underway to memorialize her next week in Georgia. Private and public events, culminating in a funeral service and interment at the Carter family home in Plains, will provide an opportunity for the nation to pay their respects and honor the enduring legacy of this extraordinary First Lady.

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In conclusion, the sight of flags at half-staff serves as a powerful visual reminder of the nation’s collective grief and gratitude for a woman who dedicated her life to service, advocacy, and the betterment of society. Rosalynn Carter’s impact will endure, and the lowered flags stand as a testament to the profound respect and admiration felt by the entire nation

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