Administrative Policy 1-11 Municipal Flag, Half-Staff Protocol



SUBJECT: Municipal Flag, Half-Staff Protocol


PURPOSE: To establish guidelines for flying municipal flags at half-staff at City owned properties/facilities to ensure fair and consistent application of this procedure.


BACKGROUND: Several City of Lawton Departments are responsible for maintaining given municipal buildings and stations, to include the raising, lowering and replacing of flags as appropriate at these facilities. The following guidelines have been established to provide protocol for flying municipal flags at half-staff for the marking of solemn occasions.


This policy only addresses half-staff protocol for municipal flags within the City of Lawton as the US Flag Code dictates protocol for the American Flag and the State of Oklahoma Flag.


SCOPE: This policy applies to all employees in City departments responsible for flag operations at municipal buildings.


DEFINITIONS: Terms in this policy are defined as follows:


  1. Municipal Flag: The official flag of the City of Lawton, which bares the City of Lawton Seal.


  1. American Flag: The official flag of the United States of America.


  1. State of Oklahoma Flag: The official flag of the State of Oklahoma.


  1. Half-Staff: The position of a flag that is being flown or set to be flown below the top of its staff.




  1. It is the responsibility of applicable department directors to make this policy accessible to their employees; it is the responsibility of employees to review and comply with all regulations and rules outlined in this policy.


  1. It is the responsibility of applicable departments to maintain an inventory of all flags flown at city buildings or properties.


  1. It is the responsibility of the City Manager to activate half-staff protocol of municipal flags as appropriate by giving written authorization to applicable departments through department directors.


  1. Employees are required to abide by all regulations and rules within this policy. Violations are subject to disciplinary action.




  1. Municipal Flags will be flown at half-staff as a sign of respect and condolence, or to commemorate significant dates.


  1. Municipal Flags will be flown at half-staff as deemed appropriate by the City Manager at applicable City facilities.


  1. With the authorization and discretion of the City Manager, and when there is only one flag pole available, Municipal Flags may be switched out at certain City facilities to fly at half-staff.


  1. The Municipal Flag will be flown at half-staff on municipal properties in accordance with guiding principles of the US Flag Code and at no time will the United States flag be flown lower than any other flag.


  1. The Municipal Flag may be flown at half-staff by order of the City Manager on specific occasions, including:


  • The death of the mayor or a sitting member of Council
  • The death of a current City of Lawton employee
  • The death of a former mayor or councilmember


  1. In granting authorization, the City Manager will provide to directors and City Council the reasoning, locations, and duration of time of which Municipal Flags will fly at half-staff.


  1. Public notice of the half-staffing will be provided to the media and community through the Community Relations Director.



REFERENCES: US Flag Code of the US Code


RECISSION: No previous version of this policy has been published.






            All City Departments with flag operation responsibilities.





Micheal Cleghorn


City Manager