What is the significance of displaying the United States flag at half-staff?

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What is the significance of displaying the United States flag at half-staff?

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This gesture is a sign to indicate the nation mourns the death of an individual(s) such as death of the President or former President, Vice President, Supreme Court Justice, member of Congress, Secretary of an executive or military department, etc. Only the President of the United States or the Governor of the State may order the flag to be half-staffed. The honor and reverence accorded this solemn act is quickly becoming eroded by those individuals and agencies that display the flag at half-staff on inappropriate occasions without proper authority to do so.

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