at half-mast

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Related to at half mast: Half staff

at half-mast

Partially raised or lowered. The phrase most often describes a flag that has been lowered to honor a recently-deceased person. After our former president died, flags were at half-mast all across the country. My daughter came home from the park covered in dirt, her ponytail at half-mast.

at half-mast

 and at half-staff
[of a flag] halfway up or down its flagpole. The flag was flying at half-mast because the general had died. Americans fly flags at half-staff on Memorial Day.

at half-mast

Halfway up or down, as in The church bells tolled off and on all day and the flags were at half-mast. This term refers to placing a flag halfway up a ship's mast or flagpole, a practice used as a mark of respect for a person who has died or, at sea, as a distress signal. Occasionally the term is transferred to other objects, as in Tom's pants were at half-mast as he raced around the playground, or The puppy's tail was at half-mast. [First half of 1600s]
References in periodicals archive ?
The flag only flies at half mast for members of the Royal family, or councillors and former mayors.
A palace spokesman said: "As a special mark of respect, the Queen has said that flags at royal residences should be at half mast.
However, in the event of the next day coinciding with the Independence Day or Republic Day or Mahatma Gandhi's birthday the Flag shall not be flown at half mast on that day, except on the building where the body of the dignitary is lying till it is removed and the flag will be raised to full-mast after the body is removed.
We believe that flying the town's flag at half mast is a fitting and solemn way to mark this sad occasion.
A flag was flying at half mast at King Henry VIII school in Warwick Road, Coventry, yesterday in memory of Lindsay.
He said: ``We are all very distraught and shocked by Edward's death and agreed flying the flag at half mast was a suitable tribute to him.
We were going to take it down afterwards but when Ronald Reagan died on June 5, we decided to leave it at half mast for another week.
Council leader David Waring has also directed that the Monmouthshire County Council flag should fly at half mast on all council buildings on that day as a mark of sympathy and respect for the thousands who lost their lives in last year's attacks.