In the wake of the loss of veteran and senator John McCain, confusion beset communities across the nation: each struggled with whether they could fly the American flag at half-staff in honor of a great war hero and statesman. The White House, which usually issues the order to lower the American flag, had raised its flag to full staff.
Many governors had not yet issued orders, yet early Monday morning, August 27, Mayor Tomlinson ordered: "
Regardless of any other order, the flags on all Columbus, Georgia Consolidated Government flag poles will fly at half-staff in honor of war hero, senator and statesman John McCain."
While many assert that only the president or governor can lower the American flag to half-staff, Mayor Tomlinson knew that Executive Order No. 10798 (Eisenhower) and the USA.gov website on flag protocol allow the highest elected official in the jurisdiction to lower the American flag in honor and homage of the fallen.
In the face of confusion and mixed messages, Columbus, Georgia was among the first to do the right thing. Now that's leadership. Rest in the peace and honor you deserve, Senator McCain.