WASHINGTON - The White House issued two statements on Monday, and once again lowered the American flag to half-staff, after having raised it Monday morning, following the death of U.S. Senator John McCain.
The flag had been lowered to half-staff after the Senator's death on Saturday as well as Sunday but was raised again on Monday morning, following backlash from political officials and the public.
President Donald Trump issued two statements on Monday, including a presidential proclamation that flags be lowered to half-staff, "as a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding service":
"As a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding service of Senator John Sidney McCain III, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on the day of interment. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half‑staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third."
President Trump also issued a statement that Vice President Mike Pence would be offering an address Friday at the lie in state ceremony for Senator McCain at the US Capitol.
The President acknowledged his differences with the Republican Senator from Arizona, and said that General John Kelly, Secretary James Mattis, and Ambassador John Bolton have been asked to represent the Trump Administration at the Senator's funeral services:
"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.
"I have asked Vice President Mike Pence to offer an address at the ceremony honoring Senator McCain at the United States Capitol this Friday.
"At the request of the McCain family, I have also authorized military transportation of Senator McCain's remains from Arizona to Washington, D.C., military pallbearers and band support, and a horse and caisson transport during the service at the United States Naval Academy.
"Finally, I have asked General John Kelly, Secretary James Mattis, and Ambassador John Bolton to represent my Administration at his services."
McCain died on Saturday of brain cancer, at the age of 81. The White House lowered the flag Saturday evening following news of his death. President Trump did not issue a formal proclamation following his death but did tweet his condolences to McCain's family.
While the flags at the White House were raised, the flags at the U.S. Capitol remained at half-staff on Monday to honor the Arizona Republican.
McCain will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Friday. A formal ceremony will take place in the Rotunda at approximately 11 a.m., on Friday, honoring Senator McCain's life and service to the nation. The public is invited to pay their respects at the conclusion of the ceremony. He will lie in state for the remainder of the day.
On Saturday, a funeral will take place at Washington National Cathedral. Then on Sunday, a private memorial service is planned at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland. Burial will be in the academy cemetery.
Senator McCain will be laid to rest next to his Naval Academy classmate and lifelong friend, Admiral Chuck Larson, who passed away in 2014.
U.S. Flag Code states that flags be lowered "on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress." It is not in code to be lowered until the day of internment unless proclaimed by the president,
According to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs protocol posted online, the department says: "The flag is to be flown at half-staff at all federal buildings, grounds and naval vessels in the Washington, D.C., area on the day and day after the death of a United States senator, representative, territorial delegate, or the resident commissioner from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. It should also be flown at half-staff on all federal facilities in the state, congressional district, territory, or commonwealth of these officials."