The American flag at Brigham Young University is lowered to half-staff to honor the passing of a current member of the campus community or a Church or government official, as well as on nationally designated days.
Effective Jan. 13, the flag will now be lowered to half-staff for 24 hours upon notification of death for current members of the BYU campus community, past university administrative officers at the level of vice president and higher and former university presidents' spouses. Previously, the flag was lowered following the announcement of death until the date of burial.
For Church officials-including the prophet, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, members of BYU's Board of Trustees, as well as current or past university presidents and current president's spouses-the flag will remain at half-staff following the announcement of death until the evening of the day on which the burial takes place.
The flag will be lowered to half-staff upon the death of government officials in accordance with the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Section 175 (m).
BYU students, faculty and staff who stop to stand at attention when the flag is being raised and lowered and the national anthem is being played each day, rain or shine, may not realize that they are adhering to a Congressionally mandated Flag Code in the United States Code (Title 36, Subtitle 1).
This code states that all present should stand at attention and face the flag on two occasions: when the national anthem is playing and when the flag is being raised or lowered.
At BYU, cadets in the Air Force ROTC and the Army ROTC participate in the color guard, taking alternate weeks to perform the raising and lowering of the flag in front of the ASB during fall and winter semesters, while employees of Physical Facilities take over the responsibility during the spring and summer terms.
The National Flag Foundation notes, "The flag of the United States of America is a living thing that calls to our spirit, reminding us of the greatness of our America. We cherish and uphold it because it is the standard of honor under which we live."
Writer: Elizabeth B. Jensen