You may have noticed that flags are flying at half-staff in the Hudson Valley this week. While many times the reason is quite obvious, some New York residents have been wondering why.

Deciding to fly a flag at half-mast is actually a pretty regulated process. While some local municipalities have control over how to fly the flags in their jurisdiction, it's the State of New York or the federal government that usually decides to honor a solemn occasion by directing flags to be flown at half-staff.

According to the State of New York, flags at individual schools, counties, towns, or other organizations and municipalities are under the supervision and control of the locality in which they reside. However, most of these local governments will just follow the lead of state and federal governments.


There are actually only four permanent occasions during the year when the flag is directed to be flown at half-staff. Those dates are Memorial Day, Pearl Harbor Day (December 7), Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15) and September 11, known as Patriot Day.

This week, flags are half-staff throughout New York State due to a proclamation from Governor Kathy Hochul. On Wednesday Hochol ordered all flags on State buildings to be flown at half-staff on April 19 and 20 to honor Retired Investigator Patrick J. Hogan. Last week, Hogan passed away due to an illness connected with exposure to toxic chemicals at the World Trade Center site after the terror attack in 2001. The former New York State Police Officer from Wynantskill retired after 22 years of service in 2018.

Bryce Funeral Home
Bryce Funeral Home

Hochul remembered Hogan as a "true hero and public servant."

Investigator Hogan's sacrifice and commitment to the people of New York will never be forgotten and we owe it to him and all those affected by September 11 to continue to fight for their health and well-being.

Hogan's funeral services were held on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, so that's why flags were at half-staff throughout the state.

Get our free mobile app

13 Things Invented in the Hudson Valley

The Hudson Valley is known for many things, but not many people are aware that some of the world's most iconic inventions were made right here in our area.

Over 100 'Fun Facts' About The Hudson Valley

Did you know that Lucille Ball made her stage debut in the Hudson Valley? How about Philadelphia Cream Cheese wasn't invented in Philadelphia, but in Orange County? Or that a mansion in Dutchess County inspired the expression "keeping up with the Joneses?" Find out about those and over 100 other fun facts about the Hudson Valley.