half-staff

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

half-staff (plural half-staffs)

  1. (US, Canada) Half-mast.
    • c. 1900, Richard Harding Davis, "Billy and the Big Stick":
      [T]he agents of the steamship lines drowned their sorrow in rum and ran the house flags to half-staff.
    • 1935 May 13, "Ninth Anniversary of Coup," New York Times, p. 6:
      Marshal Joseph Pilsudski, Poland's man of power, died here tonight. . . . Flags were lowered to half staffs.
    • 2005 April 6, Felisa Cardona, "Flag order spurs controversy," Denver Post (USA), p. B-01, (retrieved 29 Aug. 2011):
      President Bush's decision to honor Pope John Paul II by ordering flags lowered to half-staff on all public buildings has reignited a debate about the separation of church and state.
    • 2008 Aug. 5, "Two men electrocuted fixing flat on firetruck," Ottawa Citizen (Canada) (retrieved 29 Aug. 2011):
      [T]he flags at Ottawa fire stations were lowered to half-staff in tribute.

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