After lowering flags to half-staff in honor of Senator John McCain over the weekend, flags were back to full staff this morning, causing many to call out the White House for insensitivity toward the late Senator.
Flags at the White House were lowered to half staff this weekend for the passing of John McCain but this morning th… https://t.co/PTQY1kfEVp— Karen Travers (@Karen Travers) 1535365223.0
Camera shot facing south over the White House - you can see the flag at the WH at full staff while the flags surrou… https://t.co/4uWjaTFD3y— Karen Travers (@Karen Travers) 1535372008.0
When it didn't look as though the White House was going to change course, The American Legion stepped in to issue a strongly worded letter urging an "appropriate presidential proclamation" for McCain, demanding that flags fly at half-staff until his funeral.
Denise Rohan, the National Commander for The American Legion, made the demand in an open letter to the president:
Dear President Trump,
The American Legion urges the White House to follow long-established protocol following the death of prominent government officials.
Mr. President, just this year, you released presidential proclamations noting the deaths of Barbara Bush and Billy Graham. Senator John McCain was an American hero and cherished member of The American Legion. As I'm certain you are aware, he served five and a half years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam and retired from the U.S. Navy at the rank of Captain. He then served in the U.S. Congress for more than three decades.
On the behalf of The American Legion's two million wartime veterans, I strongly urge you to make an appropriate presidential proclamation noting Senator McCain's death and legacy of service to our nation, and that our nation's flag be half-staffed through his internment.
NEW: The American Legion, the nation's largest veterans service organization, is calling on Trump to make "appropri… https://t.co/RjEyqz04Us— Vera Bergengruen (@Vera Bergengruen) 1535392895.0
People were impressed that they took such action:
We agree with the @AmericanLegion, but feel a deep sense of sadness that they even had to write this letter, to Tru… https://t.co/qby1v4P6HK— VoteVets (@VoteVets) 1535394916.0
Wake up, #MAGA‼️ @realDonaldTrump does *not* care about veterans, as evidenced by Trump's classless response to th… https://t.co/W7Y8C179Bx— Dr. Dena Grayson (@Dr. Dena Grayson) 1535394386.0
And it appears the White House was impressed as well, since they complied with The American Legion's demand shortly thereafter:
President Trump also released a proclamation ordering the US flag to be flown at half-staff https://t.co/wiITheWjWQ https://t.co/1mQgF7c2o5— CNN International (@CNN International) 1535401897.0
The president also released his first statement outside of a tweet addressing the character and service of John McCain, saying
Despite our differences in politics and policy, I respect Senator John McCain's service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag at half-staff until the day of his interment.
In addition, flags were returned to flying at half staff:
"We come on the air with breaking news: the White House lowering its flag to half staff in memory of John McCain, r… https://t.co/vnoH5b56Ew— Deadline White House (@Deadline White House) 1535400768.0
There’s been a lot of focus on this today, but the White House flag is now at half staff, after being fully raised… https://t.co/A16PHdpbkS— Eamon Javers (@Eamon Javers) 1535398951.0
For many, however, the move of lowering the flag was too little, too late.
Forced...doesn’t count https://t.co/ezyxqqtgzH— Kathy Griffin (@Kathy Griffin) 1535398930.0
@realDonaldTrump Someone finally put Trump in Time-Out, put out a WH proclamation to honor Senator John McCain & re… https://t.co/PRwePc8zzQ— Paul&Mary-We wear our masks! (@Paul&Mary-We wear our masks!) 1535403995.0
What a petty POS! Uses the flag he claims to hold so sacred as a political tool once again. Trump Shows “respect” o… https://t.co/O3LVg55srg— David (@David) 1535403983.0
Oh Jesus @realDonaldTrump lowers the WH flag after outrage, he should not have to be shamed into doing the right th… https://t.co/kCBuoNUlkg— K.M (@K.M) 1535403981.0
@Acosta @Megresistor The US Flags are at #HalfStaff as they should've been. It shouldn't take national pressure for… https://t.co/uMXSEDHhjq— Lisa Lamb (@Lisa Lamb) 1535403724.0