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Question: Is the American flag always flying over the White House or is it only raised when the President is inside?
Answer: The American flag always is flying at the White House regardless of where the President is located. The American flag flies when the President is in the Oval Office, at home in the White House residence, or at Camp David, at his ranch in Crawford, Texas or on travel.
However, President Bush has the authority to direct the American flag at the White House and throughout the government to be flown at half-staff. On September 12, 2001, President Bush issued a proclamation directing the government to fly the American flag at half-staff. One year later to mark the anniversary of September 11, U.S. Marines lower the American flag flying over the White House to half-staff at midnight Tuesday, September 10.
President Bush orders the American flag to half-staff in times of tragedy and remembrance. The White House flag was flown at half-staff on Monday, February 3 to honor the seven astronauts who lost their lives aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia on Saturday, February 1, 2003. On Wednesday, May 15, 2003, President Bush ordered the American flag to half staff in memory of thousands of fallen police officers in his address to 21st Annual Peace Officers Association Memorial Service.