Why are flags at half mast today in the UK?

    FLAGS across the country are flying at half-mast as a sign of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

    One of the symbols of mourning is the flying of official flags at half mast, but the practice isn’t actually observed throughout the entire period – here’s everything you need to know.

    Why are flags at half mast today?

    There are a few occasions when flags are hoisted to half-mast.

    According to the British flag protocol, flags should be flown at half-mast from the announcement of the death until the funeral of the Sovereign.

    Other occasions include the death or funerals of members of the Royal family, the funerals of foreign rulers, or prime ministers and former primer ministers of the UK.

    Since Her Majesty, 96, passed away at Balmoral on September 8, 2022, Union flags and official flags have been half-masted at all Royal Residences.

    Flags should be flown at half-mast from the announcement of the death until the funeral of the Sovereign
    Getty Images – Getty

    However, the only exception to half-masting is on the day of the Accession Council on September 10, 2022 – when His Majesty The King was formally proclaimed.

    On Sunday, September 11, 2022 flags were returned restored once again to fly at half-mast.

    Will the Buckingham Palace flags return to full mast?

    The Royal Standard flag is never flown at half-mast even after the death of a monarch, as there is always a Sovereign on the throne and it would therefore be inappropriate for it to fly at half-mast.

    The Royal Standard flag flies at full mast at Buckingham Palace even after the death of a monarch

    It is expected that flags will continue to fly at half-mast until the end of the UK’s official period of mourning following the Queen’s state funeral, which is expected to be on Monday 19 September.

    What does it mean when flags are at half-mast?

    Flying the flags at half- mast means the flag is flown two-thirds of the way up the flagpole.

    It is a sign of mourning, respect or distress.

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    The Union flag has flown at half mast after the deaths of members of the Royal family, such as Prince Philip last year and at other times of national mourning such as the terrorist bombings in London in 2005, the deaths of former U.S. President Gerald Ford and former Prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

    The flag has flown at half-mast also after the Christchurch mosque shootings in 2019 and the London Bridge stabbing on November that year.

    Which buildings fly flags at half-mast?

    Flying the flags at half-mast is a mark of respect.

    Along with Buckingham Palace, all government buildings in the UK follow the same protocol.

    The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is in charge of arrangements for lowering flags on government buildings.

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    This content was originally published here.

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