Although he admits he lacked the authority to do it, the mayor of a small Pennsylvania town lowered the American flag to half-staff in honor of the victims of the Chattanooga shooting.
In the wake of the deadly attack, many Americans have been wondering why the president has not ordered U.S. flags be lowered to half-staff at the White House and other public buildings in memory of the slain U.S. servicemen.
On Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine Saturday night, Marine Corps veteran Nick Powers called Obama’s lack of a presidential proclamation “ridiculous” and blasted him for having flags flown at half mast for a non-citizen — Nelson Mandela — but not these five slain American servicemen.
Given that he had ordered flags be flown at half-staff following the shootings at Fort Hood, the Aurora Century Theater, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook, it seems like a reasonable expectation.
Mayor Sal Panto Jr. of Easton, PA, decided to take matters into his own hand early Saturday morning when he drove to the city’s Centre Square at 1 a.m. and lowered the American flag to half-staff with the help of a police officer.
Panto said he was prompted by a Facebook request from city resident Peggy Cochran, whose husband Pete is a city firefighter and who has two sons in the Marine Corps.
He stopped at Centre Square after wrapping up with an event at Riverside Country Club in Forks Township, he said. A police officer helped him.
“It was the right thing to do,” Panto said Saturday afternoon. “Sometimes the inappropriate thing is the right thing. I’m sure the president just forgot.”
According to flag code, only the president and governor can order flags be flown at half-staff.
Panto freely admitted he overstepped his authority.
“I’m fully aware I don’t have the authority to do this but I feel I just had to remind the president,” he said. “He just needed a little reminder and I’m happy to do that. There’s so many other things going on. I don’t think he realized that this was something that he should do.”
The governors of several states including Tennessee (where the shooting occurred), Massachusetts (where one of the Marines was from) and Arkansas (where another Marine was from) directed their state flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the victims of those shootings.
Hat tip: Lucianne