John McCain death: A brief history of flag tributes and non-tributes

The White House flag has been lowered again in response to the death of Republican senator John McCain, after critics had complained about how quickly it was raised.

In most countries flags are flown at half-mast – or at half-staff as the practice is known in the US – as a sign of mourning following the death of a leader or senior politician, or in response to a major disaster or tragedy.

But the decision on whether or not to lower a flag can be fraught with controversy.

Newspaper shooting

Mr Trump has been criticised on the issue in the past.

In June, Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckle asked the White House to fly its flag at half-mast after a gunman killed five journalists working at a newspaper in his city.

But he said his request was declined.

The following day, Mr Trump ordered all flags at public buildings, military posts, naval vessels and embassies to be lowered. The White House later said the president acted as soon as he heard of the mayor’s request.

Image caption The victims, from top left: Rob Hiaasen, Rebecca Smith, Gerald Fischman; John McNamara (bottom centre), Wendi Winters (bottom right)

Soldiers and a singer

Mr Trump highlighted the…

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