It's hard to keep up with the different reasons that Ol' Glory seems to be at half-staff almost every other week, and it's once again been lowered across the nation.

President Biden Orders Flag to Half-Staff

The U.S. flag on Auburn Street in Rockford, Illinois has been flying at half-staff for more than a week, but because of an order by the President, it will remain at half-staff through May 11.

According to the proclamation from President Biden, U.S. flags are to be flown half-staff through sunset this Thursday (5/11) "as a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on May 6, 2023, in Allen, Texas."

8 people were killed at an outlet shopping mall in Texas earlier this week, which is the second-deadliest mass shooting so far in 2023.

Why Are Flags Lowered for Only Some Mass Shootings?

I'm not sure why President Biden orders proclamations to have flags flown at half-staff out of respect for victims of some mass shootings and not for others.

Are we only lowering the U.S. flag when there are a certain number of fatalities, or if the shooting took place in a specific state? It doesn't seem consistent.

READ MORE: Why is This Illinois Home Flying U.S. Flag Inverted?

I'm not sure what the parameters are for which of these tragedies the President decides to have the nation mourn and which are not worth lowering the flag but if the flag is at half-staff every "mass shooting" that the U.S. has, it will never get to full staff.

A "mass shooting" is different depending on who you ask

In the U.S. if there are 3 or more killings in a single incident, it's considered a mass shooting by the Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012.

Gun Violence Archive defines mass shootings as involving "four or more shot (injured or killed) in a single incident, at the same general time and location, not including the shooter".

5 individuals have to be killed in one incident in Australia for it to be considered a "mass shooting."

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