Why flags are at half-staff, half-mast today in Ohio

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Gov. Mike DeWine ordered Wednesday that flags on Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction facilities be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of corrections officer Lt. Rodney Osborne's funeral after he died in an ODRC training accident Tuesday.

Osborne was killed around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning during a training exercise on a shooting range at the Correctional Training Facility in Orient. The date of his funeral has not been publicly announced.

Lt. Rodney Osborne
Lt. Rodney Osborne

He was a 13-year veteran of the ODRC and was "beloved amongst his peers," ODRC director Annette Chambers-Smith said. He was a member of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility's special response team and honor guard and the ODRC's statewide Special Tactics And Response (STAR) team.

Last week, Osborne was named the SOCF's Employee of the Year.

What time are flags displayed at half-staff?

Customs call for flags to be shown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset unless the flag can be illuminated overnight.

  • Holidays where the flag is half-staff around the country

  • May 15: Peace Officers Memorial Day (half-staff all day)

  • Last Monday in May: Memorial Day (half-staff until noon)

  • Sept. 11: Patriot Day (half-staff all day)

  • First Sunday in October: Fallen Fighters Fallen Firefighters (half-staff all day)

  • Dec. 7: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (half-staff all day)

What's the difference between half-mast and half-staff?

According to The Sextant, the Naval History and Heritage Command’s blog, half-mast refers to lowered flags on a ship, while half-staff is a pole in the ground. But the blog continues to say half-mast is used outside the U.S.

Dispatch reporters Cole Behrens and Laura Bischoff contributed to this report.


This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Why flags are at half-staff, half-mast today in Ohio