Byrd would enjoy code conflict on flags

July 2, 2010 at 8:32 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 2 (UPI) -- It's a quandary that would make Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., chuckle: A presidential-ordered tribute to the late senator conflicts with the Federal Flag Code.

President Obama ordered flags to fly half-staff until the evening of Byrd's burial next week -- but that order is contrary to the code section requiring Old Glory to fly at full staff on Independence Day, one of 14 days a year the flag must fly atop a flagpole, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Byrd, who died Monday at the age of 92, was a walking encyclopedia -- and stickler -- of federal rules and procedures.

Not to worry, though. Obama also ordered flags to fly at full staff Sunday "in honor and tribute" to Byrd, whom he called "a great patriot," the Post reported.

The flag code indicates flags must fly at half-staff for 30 days from the death of a president or former president and for 10 days from the death of a vice president, chief justice or House speaker, the newspaper said. Flags usually fly at half-staff on the day a member of Congress dies and the day after, but an exception was made for Byrd, whose achievements include being the longest-serving senator.

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