Annapolis mayor asks President Trump to order American flags lowered in honor of shooting victims

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley is pressing for President Donald Trump to order that American flags be lowered to half-staff nationwide to honor the five men and women killed Thursday at the Capital Gazette newspaper office.

Gov. Larry Hogan ordered Maryland state flags to be lowered to half-staff on Friday through sunset on Monday.


Buckley said he thought the scope of the tragedy merited national recognition through the lowering of American flags as well.

“It’s not as noticeable when a state flag is down but you still have your main flags at full mast,” the mayor said.

Buckley, a Democrat, said he put in his request through members of Congress on Friday but had not heard a response from the White House as of Saturday afternoon.

“I’m not saying that he’s denying it, but it might not be a priority,” Buckley said.

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley speaks with the Capital Gazette Editorial Board.
Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley speaks with the Capital Gazette Editorial Board. (Paul W. Gillespie / Capital Gazette)

He noted that Trump made remarks about the shooting. “Obviously, this got a lot of national attention and the president knows about it,” he said.

Trump has ordered flags lowered for previous mass shootings, including in May after the deaths of 10 people at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, and the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in February that left 17 dead.

The mayor said he was upset Saturday to see national media already leave town and to move on to other stories. Lowering the American flags would offer a measure of remembrance, even as life moves on for other people, he said.

Even if the president doesn’t order American flags to be lowered, Buckley said he might still lower flags in prominent city locations.

The newspaper’s office at 888 Bestgate Road is outside city limits, but the newspaper was located within city limits for most of its history. The newspaper’s reporters cover city government, businesses and community news extensively, and the advertising staff serves many city businesses.