Biden botches flag lowering to honor National Peace Officers Memorial Day

On Friday night Rep. Brian Mast published two hyperbolic tweets about Joe Biden’s update of a presidential proclamation honoring National Police Officers Memorial Day with a directive that the flag be flown at half-staff today. That proclamation was signed by Biden on May 7, and Friday Biden issued an updated proclamation directing flags to be flown at full staff. Rep. Mast was angry that this was done in what he called a Friday news dump without explanation.

Rep. Mast took it as an insult to fallen law enforcement officers. It did look odd.

In context, though, there is a reason for what looks like a flip flop from Biden. Today, May 15, is National Police Officers Memorial Day and it is also Armed Forces Day. When the two days fall on the same date, flags remain at full staff. Clearly, this is an administrative mistake from Team Biden. Someone wrote Biden’s proclamation of National Police Week and Biden signed it. Then someone must have realized it is also Armed Forces Day. Armed Forces Day is commemorated on the third Saturday in May. On that day, flags are flown at full staff to honor and thank those who serve in the U.S. military. This year, the third Saturday in May is today.

You can read Biden’s original proclamation of Peace Officers Memorial Day and his updated proclamation here.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2021, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 9 through May 15, 2021, as Police Week. I call upon all Americans to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also call on the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag from their homes and businesses on that day.

The updated proclamation leaves out the part about flying the flag at half-staff. It encourages Americans to fly the flag.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2021, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 9 through May 15, 2021, as Police Week. I call upon all Americans to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag from their homes and businesses on that day.

This debacle was avoidable. On its face, it looks like Biden is dissing law enforcement. The first question that came to my mind when I read Rep. Mast’s tweet was to question why Biden did it. It’s a rookie mistake from a man who promised that his administration would be competent and professional. Imagine if Trump made this mistake – the media would spotlight it for a week on cable news shows as proof of his incompetence.

Rep. Brian Mast is a veteran who lost both legs while serving as an explosive ordnance disposal technician in the U.S. Army in 2010. He is an American hero and I’m not going to jump on him for his response to something he found objectionable. As I mentioned above, on its face, it is objectionable.

There are two days each year when federal law requires the flag to be flown at half-staff – Memorial Day (the last Monday in May) and on May 15, National Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Biden signed a proclamation Friday in recognition of Armed Forces Day.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, continuing the precedent of my predecessors in office, do hereby proclaim the third Saturday of each May as Armed Forces Day.

I direct the Secretary of Defense on behalf of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, and the Secretary of Homeland Security on behalf of the Coast Guard, to plan for appropriate observances each year, with the Secretary of Defense responsible for soliciting the participation and cooperation of civil authorities and private citizens. I invite the Governors of the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, to provide for the observance of Armed Forces Day within their jurisdiction each year in an appropriate manner designed to increase public understanding and appreciation of the Armed Forces of the United States. I also invite veterans, civic leaders, and other organizations to join in the observance of Armed Forces Day each year.

Finally, I call upon all Americans to display the flag of the United States at their homes and businesses on Armed Forces Day, and I urge citizens to learn more about military service by attending and participating in the local observances of the day.

Bumbling Joe is causing governors and other government officials to change orders to fly the flag at half-staff to fly the flag at full staff. Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada came up with a reasonable solution. After Biden’s reversal, Sisolak announced that Nevada will honor fallen law enforcement on Sunday.

Nevada will recognize Peace Officers Memorial Day by lowering flags on Sunday, May 16.

“We are indebted to the brave men and women who serve as law enforcement officers and put their lives on the line every day to keep the peace, enforce our laws, and provide help in times of emergency and crisis”, said Gov. Sisolak. “The State of Nevada honors all of the law enforcement officers and remembers those who have been killed in the line of duty in our great State and throughout the United States.”

There are plenty of things to criticize Joe Biden and his administration about. This time, though, it looks like this is a rookie mistake by a new administration, even though the president is a career politician and former vice-president.

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