Every Fourth of July, Americans gather around the barbecue, shoot off fireworks and fly Old Glory high.
Every year, that is, except this year.
Flags will remain at half-staff until at least Monday, when the federal government ends a 30-day period of mourning for the death of former President Ronald Reagan, who died June 5.
However, not all public agencies in Nevada County have followed the half-staff guideline as the month-long mourning period nears its end.
Flags at the Nevada County Courthouse, Grass Valley City Hall, and Nevada City City Hall snapped briskly at the tops of their respective staffs Friday, but flags at the Grass Valley branch library and Nevada City post office were flying at half-staff.
After being asked about the flags at Grass Valley City Hall by The Union, City Manager Gene Haroldsen said he was initially unaware of the order.
Haroldsen then sent a terse e-mail to public works staff, Public Works Director Rudi Golnik and Mayor Patti Ingram asking public works employees to lower the banner.
“Please take care of this as soon as possible. Thanks, Gene,” the e-mail stated.
By 5 p.m., the flag had been lowered to half-staff.
In an unofficial survey of area businesses and public offices Friday, flags were at half-staff at the corner of Nevada and Broad streets in Nevada City, at the Holbrooke Hotel in downtown Grass Valley, at the Bank of America near the Glenbrook Basin and at a Robinson Oil/Express Mart at the corner of Bennett and East Main streets near downtown Grass Valley.
“I think it’s appropriate,” said Express Mart manager Ken Croker. “I think (Monday) is a good day to raise the flag.”
U.S. Postal Service employee Tara Hall, working at the Grass Valley post office, said no one had asked her about the flag in the past month. She didn’t even know it was still lowered Friday.
“I don’t look up,” she said, “let’s put it that way.”
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