This morning, breaking with the tradition of flying the flag at the White House at half-staff upon the death of a sitting U.S. Senator through the senator’s burial, Donald Trump ordered that the flag flying over the White House be raised to full staff.
This did not go over well, particularly with veterans. American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan wrote a letter to Trump earlier today in which she said, “The American Legion urges the White House to follow long-established protocol following the death of prominent government officials.”
Rohan’s letter continued, “On the behalf of The American Legion’s two million wartime veterans, I strongly urge you to make an appropriate presidential proclamation noting Senator McCain’s death and legacy of service to our nation, and that our nation’s flag be half-staffed through his internment.”
A few hours later, Donald Trump released a statement saying, “Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment.”
Hmm. The wording of Trump’s statement is eerily similar to that of Denise Rohan’s letter, isn’t it.
It took significant pressure from a group representing U.S. veterans and even members of his own party in Congress to get Trump to do the right and decent thing. And yet some recent polls have shown Trump to have 90% approval rating among Republicans.