OLYMPIA – State government offices were ordered to lower their flags to half-staff Monday and leave them there through the weekend to honor U.S. Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who died Saturday.
Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, ordered the U.S and Washington flags lowered while McCain lies in state, first in the Arizona Capitol and later in the U.S. Capitol, to be followed by a memorial service at the National Cathedral and burial at the U.S. Naval Academy.
He encouraged local governments and private citizens with flags to take similar action.
The order came as the White House was lowering its flag again, after raising it this morning from the half-staff position it had been moved to on Saturday when McCain died.
Returning the flag to full-staff complied with flag code, that says it should be lowered on the day of the death of a member of Congress and the day after. But it broke with precedent that the flag remains at half-staff until that person’s burial.
Inslee has the authority to order flags at state offices to be lowered, just as President Donald Trump has similar authority for federal buildings, although the flags around the U.S. Capitol remained at half-staff even though the White House flag was raised.
The White House issued a statement from Trump Monday afternoon ordering the flag back down until McCain’s burial.