US

Are we overusing the tribute of flying flag at half-staff?

  • FILE - In this June 13, 2016 file photo, flags fly at half-staff around the Washington Monument at daybreak in Washington, by order of President Obama, the day after more than four dozen people were killed  in the Orlando, Fla., nightclub shootings. As the nation marks Independence Day on Monday, lowering the flag remains a visible, immediate way to pay tribute in hours of tragedy, but flag buffs have noted that the honor has been extended more widely over time, and they and other Americans have questioned whether the country has lowered the bar on the lowering the flag.  (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

    FILE - In this June 13, 2016 file photo, flags fly at half-staff around the Washington Monument at daybreak in Washington, by order of President Obama, the day after more than four dozen people were killed in the Orlando, Fla., nightclub shootings. As the nation marks Independence Day on Monday, lowering the flag remains a visible, immediate way to pay tribute in hours of tragedy, but flag buffs have noted that the honor has been extended more widely over time, and they and other Americans have questioned whether the country has lowered the bar on the lowering the flag. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Feb. 12, 2012 file photo, an American flag flies at half-staff in front of the Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts in East Orange, N.J., to honor the performing artist Whitney Houston, who died the previous day. The honor once reserved for slain police officers, politicians and war heroes is more commonly extended to sports heroes and entertainers. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

    FILE- In this Feb. 12, 2012 file photo, an American flag flies at half-staff in front of the Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts in East Orange, N.J., to honor the performing artist Whitney Houston, who died the previous day. The honor once reserved for slain police officers, politicians and war heroes is more commonly extended to sports heroes and entertainers. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Dec. 27, 2006 file photo, James and Jennifer Florence, of Petersburg, Va., stand over a steam grate as flags fly at half staff at the Washington Monument in honor of former President Gerald Ford who died the previous day, in Washington. Presidents, senators and war heroes traditionally have been honored by lowering the American flag, but the honor has been extended to entertainers and sports heroes as well. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

    FILE- In this Dec. 27, 2006 file photo, James and Jennifer Florence, of Petersburg, Va., stand over a steam grate as flags fly at half staff at the Washington Monument in honor of former President Gerald Ford who died the previous day, in Washington. Presidents, senators and war heroes traditionally have been honored by lowering the American flag, but the honor has been extended to entertainers and sports heroes as well. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)  (The Associated Press)

Nearly every day somewhere in the country, the Stars and Stripes is flying low, ordered to half-staff in one of the most significant official gestures of mourning and respect.

An Associated Press analysis of proclamations from 50 state governors and the federal government found American flags were ordered lowered at least someplace 328 days during 2015.

They honored hundreds of people including slain soldiers, terror attack victims, baseball legend Yogi Berra and one of the Navajo code talkers who helped stymie the Japanese during World War II.

Flag buffs have noted that such honors have increased over time, and they and other Americans have questioned whether the country has lowered the bar on the lowering of the flag. But while some states tightened rules in recent years, others faced criticism for withholding the tribute.