Why are flags being flown at half-staff today in Ohio?

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued an order on Thursday for all U.S. and Ohio flags in the state to be lowered to half-staff to remember over one million Americans who died from COVID-19 until sunset on Monday.

This came after President Joe Biden's expected proclamation on Thursday ordering flags at the White House and all federal buildings to be flown at half-staff to mark the upcoming milestone of one million deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19.

“We must remain vigilant against this pandemic and do everything we can to save as many lives as possible, as we have with more testing, vaccines and treatments than ever before,” Biden said in a statement. “It’s critical that Congress sustain these resources in the coming months.”

Here's what we know about why and when American flags are flown at half-staff.

What time are flags displayed at half-staff?

Customs call for flags to be shown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset unless the flag can be illuminated overnight.

Holidays where the flag is half-staff around the country

May 15 - Peace Officers Memorial Day (half-staff all day)

Last Monday in May - Memorial Day (half-staff until noon)

Sept. 11 - Patriot Day (half-staff all day)

First Sunday in October - Fallen Fighters Fallen Firefighters (half-staff all day)

Dec. 7 - Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (half-staff all day)

Courtesy of aflag.com and halfstaffalert.org.

What's the difference between half-mast and half-staff?

According to The Sextant, the Naval History and Heritage Command’s blog, half-mast refers to lowered flags on a ship, while half-staff is a pole in the ground. But the blog continues to say half-mast is used outside the U.S.

The New York Times contributed to this story.

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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: 1 million COVID-19 deaths to be marked in Ohio with half-staff flags