The lowering of a flag to half-staff is always a somber occasion.

It is a way to show the citizens of a state or the United States that we are in mourning.

The lowering of a flag can be ordered by the president, a state governor, or the mayor of the District of Columbia.

According to the website, flags are typically lowered to half-staff (or half-mast) as a way to mark the passing of a government leader, military member, or first responder, a national day of remembrance, or a national tragedy.

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Why are flags in Maine at half-mast today?

According to WCSH 6, Governor Mills has ordered both American flags and state flags in Maine to half-mast to show honor to former Maine Governor Joseph Brennan.

Joseph Brennan passed away at the age of 89 on April 5, 2024.

He will be laid to rest in Portland on Friday.

Governor Janet Mills previously released a statement about his passing.  The statement says, in part:

Maine and the nation have lost a great public servant, and I have lost a friend. Through five decades of public service – as a state legislator, County Attorney, Attorney General, Member of Congress, Federal Maritime Commissioner, and as Maine’s 70th Governor — Joe Brennan never stopped working to improve the lives of Maine people. The proud son of Irish immigrants, Gov. Brennan’s career was guided by the core values of hard work, fairness, friendship, and a drive to help those who needed a helping hand, values which he learned growing up on working-class Munjoy Hill in Portland

You can read the full statement here.

Brennan was the governor from 1979 to 1987.  Following his time as governor, he spent several terms in Congress.  He also spent time as the Attorney General for Maine and as the Commissioner of the Federal Maritime Commission.

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