Whitney Houston: Flags Half Staff?

I want to start this post by saying that I am deeply saddened by the death of Whitney Houston. Not only was she a fantastic singer and a true inspiration but she was also a talented actress. I understand that this woman dealt with alot of personal demons and that she struggled with substance abuse throughout her life but her talent will never be forgotten. I remember one song in particular that always got me through when I was doubting myself. I would like to share this song as a tribute to her:

I have heard alot of talk over the last week that because she was a substance abuser she “had this coming”. I really find this quite an unfair statement. I don’t think any one of us can honestly say we understand what it was like to live in her shoes. How many of us could step into the spotlight and have our privacy completely stripped away. How many of us could be critiqued daily on the clothes we wear, our performances, our day to day activities and anything else someone decided to talk about? I think this type of lifestyle is very misunderstood and just because someone is “famous” and has money we like to assume they are happy. This is too often not the case. Look at the string of celebrities that have died just recently from substance abuse. Just because they lost the battle with their own personal demons does not mean that their death is any less significant. No one can deny that Witness Houston was a music icon and she deserves to be recognized.

That being said I do NOT believe that she deserves to have the flags flown at Half Staff in New Jersey to honor her death. This debate has sprung up and many people have conflicting opinions. I believe that the flag should be flown at half staff ONLY for fallen soldiers. I don’t believe this honor should be bestowed on ANYONE else. I think when we start doing this for more than just the fallen soldiers the symbol begins to lose its meaning.

Whitney Houston deserves to be honored by an increase of record sales. According to a NY Times article, “She sold 101,000 albums in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, compared with 1,700 the week before.” This increase is deserved. She should be honored for her talent and the music that she has left in our hearts. I also feel her being honored at the Grammys was deserved and I hope that they also honor her at the Academy Awards. There is no doubt that she is a legend and she deserves to be honored in the appropriate venues.

 

What is your opinion? Should the flags be flown at Half Staff to honor Whitney Houston’s death?

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9 thoughts on “Whitney Houston: Flags Half Staff?

  1. I agree. I’m a reservist in the military and I believe flags should only be for fallen soldiers. I loved Whitney’s music and was very sad to hear of her passing. She should be remembered in her own way as well as The Fallen Soldiers. So if that means through excessive media out take or outstanding Award Honors. She will always be remembered through entertainment history as a very talented woman.

  2. Well, I’ve read about five posts this week on Whitney concerning this topic of the flags, and I have to say….this is the most eloquent, honest, and fair expression I’ve read.

    So, thank you!

    “I don’t think any one of us can honestly say we understand what it was like to live in her shoes. How many of us could step into the spotlight and have our privacy completely stripped away. How many of us could be critiqued daily on the clothes we wear, our performances, our day to day activities and anything else someone decided to talk about? ”

    Ditto! And the fact that people are saying that she had it coming to her for being a substance abuser is totally unfair and just plain rude.

    Personally, I was a big fan Whitney and was very saddened to hear the news of her passing. However, I do think that all the publicity has gotten WAY out of hand. And no, I do not think the flags, which are intended for fallen soldiers should have been flown. Yet, I realize it was done in Jersey because that’s where she was from, so they did it as more of an honor from her birthplace.

    “I also feel her being honored at the Grammys was deserved and I hope that they also honor her at the Academy Awards. There is no doubt that she is a legend and she deserves to be honored in the appropriate venues.”

    I agree.

    Again, thank you for sharing such a great post, girl!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. My opinion, as you already read at my place, was that I took no issue with our Governor flying flags at half-staff for Houston. As far as I understand the Flag Code, there is nothing to prevent a private citizen from being honored that way. Presidents and Governors can authorize it as a tribute to leading citizens, public officials, principal figures of government, etc. And there are no laws regarding who private citizens can honor with their own personal flags.
    So it is already done for more than just fallen soldiers.
    My point was that Christie had already flown the flag at half-staff for other non-military people… i.e., police officers, a basketball coach, and Clarence Clemons and there didn’t seem to be much resistance
    to that, none actually that I recall.
    So it seems that the problem alot of people are having with it regarding Whitney is that she had a drug addiction.

    Personally, I don’t care one way or the other if they fly the flag for her or not. I was just stating that it’s been put at half-staff in the past for others so I wasn’t against him on that particular decision… which was actually odd for me because I don’t care for him much at all.

    Very nice post!

  4. I had never heard this song before. She sings so naturally, what an amazing voice! I don’t get how they came to the decision about the flags. I don’t find the relation between the flags and an artist. Even though she was wonderful.

  5. I totally agree with you. Flags are for military, police officers killed in the line of duty, tragic events like 9/11, etc. NOT for celebrities, sports people, etc. If a hometown wants to do something, they can name a street after the person.

  6. The problem is not that the flag is being flown half mast for Whitney Houston. The problem is that it isn’t being lowered for all the military members who’s lives were lost defending the country, and not shooting up cocaine.

    If we want to honor Whitney Houston for who she was by lowering the flag, I have no problems with that. But if it flies at the top of that pole for for the rest of the year while soldiers are sacrificing themselves daily, then we have officially decided that celebrities are more worthy of our remembrance and our prayers, than our guardians are. Guess it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that this country’s priorities are all F’d up.

  7. A well thought out and well stated post. I agree, flags should not be flown at half staff. Doing it for everyone minimizes the significance of it. If New Jersey wants to honor her, they can erect a monument or play her music on the airwaves and in government offices (elevators, lol). But flags are a time honored tradition and that tradition should be reserved for those it truly honors.

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