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Half Staff
Half staff means flying a flag below the summit of the flagpole.  A flag is flown at half staff as a symbol of respect, mourning, or distress.

This 17th century tradition is sometimes referred to as "half mast" outside of the United States and more commonly used aboard ships, where flags are typically flown from ship "masts."  The U.S. Flag Code and the White House consistently use the term half staff. 

By Presidential Proclamation or by order of Georgia's Governor or Madison's Mayor our flag to be flown at half staff.  There are regular memorial occasions in the nation and state, as well as tragic events or losses that are respectfully acknowledged by the half staff position.

A flag, when flown at half staff, is first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half staff position.  Likewise if lowered at the end of the day, it is first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered. 
More About Proper Use of the American Flag