January 9 – fly your flag today for Connecticut statehood

January 9, 2013

There were not states at all, yet.  But on January 9, 1788, Connecticut became the fifth of the 13 colonies to ratify the proposed Constitution for the United States of America.  Within 12 months, four more colonies ratified the document, making it effective.  When the government of the new nation started functioning in 1789, Connecticut was counted as the fifth state.

Connecticut capitol building, Hartford

Capitol building for Connecticut in Hartford; this photo is from the rear of the building, so the U.S. flag is flying correctly on its own right. The building was completed in 1878. The dome is covered in gold. Image from Wikimedia Commons

To avoid political scheming by anti-federalist colony governors, especially Patrick Henry in Virginia, in September 1787 James Madison proposed that the draft constitution be ratified not by legislatures in the colonies, but instead by a specially-called convention of the people of the colony.  Connecticut’s convention met first on January 3, 1788, and with six days of discussion and debate, passed a resolution of ratification on January 9.

So by tradition, January 9 is Connecticut’s statehood anniversary.  According to U.S. law, citizens and residents of a state should fly their flags on statehood anniversaries.


Carol Highsmith photo of Connecticut's Hall of Flags

Hall of Flags in the Connecticut State Capitol Building; photo by the great photo-historian Carol Highsmith, from the Library of Congress collection; the statue is Connecticut’s Civil War Governor, William A. Buckingham (1804-1875), honored for his personal contributions to the equipping of Connecticut’s men fighting in the Civil War;.

Fly flags at half-staff through December 18, to honor victims of Connecticut shootings

December 14, 2012

President Barack Obama issued this proclamation earlier today, calling on Americans to remember the victims of the shooting in Connecticut, and fly flags at half staff through sunset, December 18, in the victims’ honor:

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

December 14, 2012

Presidential Proclamation — Honoring the Victims of the Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut


– – – – – – –



As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States 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 on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, December 18, 2012. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.


The Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, following the practice established by his predecessor, Jennifer Granholm, notified Michiganders of orders on flying the flag through an e-mail list-serv.  He’s Republican, she’s a Democrat.  Michigan honors each Michigan soldier killed with half-staff flags.

Does your state’s governor offer a similar service?  If not, why not call and ask that they do?

This note came from Michigan today:

Flag Honors banner

President Obama has ordered the flag of the United States lowered to half-staff until sunset on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 to honor the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, CT.

“The senseless acts of violence witnessed today in Newtown are unthinkable,” said Snyder. “My sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the parents and entire families forever impacted by this tragic event.”

We have included a PDF of the president’s official proclamation.

Thank you,

Executive Office of Governor Rick Snyder

State of Michigan


Thank you for subscribing to updates from Governor Rick Snyder. We welcome questions and appreciate comments at our Contact Us page. However, please do not reply to this email. This is an unmonitored address, and replies to this email cannot be responded to or read.

QUESTIONS? Office: 517-335-7858

Email: governorsoffice@michigan.gov

Remember, flag etiquette suggests that the flag should be briskly raised to the full staff position, then slowly lowered to half-staff.  If your flagpole is less than 30 feet high, you may want to be sure the flag’s lower grommet is at the half-way point, and not the top grommet.

Stamford CT Fire Dept puts flags at half staff on 9/11/2012

Stamford, Connecticut, Fire Department Honor Guard puts the U.S. flag at half staff, in Stamford (photo from an earlier event) – Photo: Amy Mortensen / Connecticut Post Freelance



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