Where Did the Tradition of Flying a Flag at Half Mast Originate and What Does the Custom Mean?

The tradition of flying a flag at half mast began with ships.

When someone passed away on a ship, or a country’s leader died, all the rigging would be loosened so that it looked in disarray.

This was a sign of mourning.

Although the slacked rigging isn’t practiced today, the tradition of lowering the flag to half-mast continues in many countries, both at sea and on land.

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