Fort Hood, Texas. Aurora, Colorado. Washington D.C.
The commonality of these locations may seem obvious. However, these tragedies indicate more than instances of mass shootings in the United States. Following each case, President Barack Obama proclaimed that the flag shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations and throughout the United States and its Territories until a specified date.
The latter half of this proclamation applies to every representation of the United States flag, including UGA’s designated flag post in Tate Honor Plaza. Therefore, as I walked to class early Tuesday morning, I expected to see our country’s stars and stripes, coupled with the familiarity of Georgia’s state flag, flying at half-mast, and to reflect upon the thirteen lives lost Monday morning by a gunman’s bullets.
Instantly, I stopped and realized my eyes had traveled the entire span of the flagpole. There it was, the American flag flying high at the top of the post. Confused, and just a little offended, I immediately contacted the Dean of Students.
After filing a formal complaint, I was notified the administration knew of the mistake and was working to rectify it right away. By the time I walked out of my morning class in the Miller Learning Center, both flags fluttered at the respectful half-staff position, and have remained there since.
THE EDITORS: Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the Navy Yard shooting.
I was pleased with the promptness of their response, but still I felt a little jaded. It should not have been a student complaint that prompted UGA to lower our flag out of respect; they, like the rest of the public, shouldn’t need a complaint or even a presidential proclamation to honor their fallen countrymen.
—Sarah Smith is a senior studying international affairs and history