A president of a public university system in Indiana has asked that the American Flag be flown at half-staff to honor the passing of a former president of the university system. Only the President and the Governor of states can ORDER a flag to half staff, but it can be ASKED to be flown at half-staff by others. The Flag Code is just a suggestion EXCEPT in the case of government/public buildings. It has been asked that the flags be lowered to half-staff on state-owned/public buildings.
It might be that with all of our rights for which that flag stands being trampled, I'm getting a bit prickly about things but I'm not sure that the passing of a former university system president who was in service about 11 years merits the American Flag being flown at half-staff. I could maybe go for the state flag since he worked for a state institution. As far as I can tell from the official obituary, this person was not a veteran or whomever was writing the obituary didn't feel that military service was important enough to mention (and in any case he did not die in active duty so that's moot).
I'm sure he was a great guy and did great things for the university, but did anything he do merit this honor usually reserved for the passing of Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, etc.?? I don't think so.
I guess my problem is this.... if something becomes commonplace, then it's no longer the honor that it was, but is just an empty gesture.
2 months ago