Columnist
  • Lowered over the Department of the Interior: Ryan Zinke is not in the office.
  • Raised over the Department of the Interior: Ryan Zinke is in the office.
  • Half-staff: I am respectfully observing the passing of Sen. John McCain.
  • Half-staff, then full, then begrudgingly half again, over the White House: The president doesn’t think John McCain was a hero because he got captured (?) and is being mean and petty about it.
  • Half-staff, then full, then begrudgingly half again: Listen, I understand that superficially this resembles what the president is doing, but I think that an insistence on decorum above all has gotten us where we are today, and I have some thoughts about McCain’s legacy that I would like to raise. Obviously, the reason to criticize McCain is not that he got captured, though.
  • Half-staff but one of the corners is folded down like a bookmark: I would like to reevaluate the senator’s legacy at an appropriate time, although in this news cycle, can anything ever be said to be an appropriate time? I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore.
  • Up and down and up and down and up and down, never resting: Flag height is loading.
  • There is no flag nearby, but instead you respectfully display wall-to-wall coverage of the flag’s position, although you cannot shake the feeling that there must be other things happening in the world: Something in our news is deeply broken.
  • Half-staff but a picture of Sarah Palin has been taped to the flag: I wish to respectfully observe the passing of John McCain, but also I have a point to make.
  • Flag is taken off pole altogether and folded and placed into a box and stared at for a long time: Someone who sought to hold our politics to a higher standard is gone. It is possible to mourn that higher standard and regret what has filled the void while still pointing out that his vision of a world and an America worth protecting at times did not include everyone, and that this had consequences.
  • Flag is a jolly roger: Pirates have taken control of the building.
  • Flag replaced with single-spaced text on a white background that says “His Rebuke to That Lady in the Red Shirt in 2008 Was a Heroic Moment Worth Celebrating (Though It Too Was Insufficient) But Sadly Few People in His Party Could Have Done What He Did (Although I Wish He Had Added That It Was Possible to Be the Ominously Vague Other, the “Arab,” That She Insinuated and Still Be a True American)”: Pretty much what it says on the flag.
  • Half-staff, then full, then half again, then all the way down, then back to half: Help, I am stuck inside the flag-lowering and flag-raising mechanism.
  • Five-eighths-staff: I understand that now is the time to show reverence for the passing of a statesman. However, after watching what felt like a six-hour documentary that underscored every good action the senator ever took with stirring music and that had clearly been prepared months in advance, I am mildly annoyed and unsure how to show it without being disrespectful.
  • Flag is lowered, then raised, then lowered again: I salute your passing vessel.
  • Flag is replaced with one that is all white with one blue and one red stripe: Donald Trump was given this flag to color.
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