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 they are back to full staff.
There was no official proclamation from President Trump (as he has done in the past for other notable figures passing) pic.twitter.com/rmUO6xbtrp
— Karen Travers (@karentravers) August 27, 2018
Camera shot facing south over the White House – you can see the flag at the WH at full staff while the flags surrounding the Washington Monument are lowered pic.twitter.com/xT2KdPLgpB
— Karen Travers (@karentravers) August 27, 2018
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 "appropriate presidential proclamation" noting McCain's service & that flags be half-staffed until his funeral.
Here's the National Commander's open letter to the president: pic.twitter.com/gISSOAh7Xx
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) August 27, 2018
People were impressed that they took such action:
Inbox: @AmericanLegion admonishes President Trump for failing to keep flags at half staff to honor POW and sitting US Sen., John McCain. Can anyone remember this happening before? pic.twitter.com/VU3Flp2lNw
— Aaron C. Davis (@byaaroncdavis) August 27, 2018
— VoteVets (@votevets) August 27, 2018
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) August 27, 2018
The American Legion had to write a letter to the President of the United States of America urging him to lower the White House flag for a sitting Senator who sacrificed for this country.
Let. That. Sink. In.
— Black Gold⚜️Texas Tea (@Sainttea12) August 27, 2018
And it appears the White House was impressed as well, since they complied with The American Legion’s demand shortly thereafter:
— CNN International (@cnni) August 27, 2018
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, reversing a decision made earlier today that landed the President in hot water from the right and the left… " – @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/fnI29yTUyT
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) August 27, 2018
There’s been a lot of focus on this today, but the White House flag is now at half staff, after being fully raised earlier in the day. pic.twitter.com/MPZvGjnN7T
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) August 27, 2018
For many, however, the move of lowering the flag was too little, too late.
Someone finally put Trump in Time-Out, put out a WH proclamation to honor Senator John McCain & returned the flag to half-staff. This MUST have been the scenario, considering it took 48 frickin' hours, to do so! https://t.co/aomyMP52h5
— Paul&Mary (@PaMa261075) August 27, 2018
What a petty POS! Uses the flag he claims to hold so sacred as a political tool once again. Trump Shows “respect” only when public pressure mounts. Vote out his enabling party.
— David (@theboonieman) August 27, 2018
Oh Jesus @realDonaldTrump lowers the WH flag after outrage, he should not have to be shamed into doing the right thing. I swear to god he’s the absolute worst- and the contrast between the man McCain was and the man Trump is could not be any more clear.
— K.M (@Kalpersk) August 27, 2018
The US Flags are at #HalfStaff as they should've been. It shouldn't take national pressure for trump to have done the right thing. I guess that call for permission from Putin came in after all.
— Lisa Lamb (@LisaLamb8493707) August 27, 2018