Was Gov. wrong to order flags flown at half staff for child abuse?

Posted: April 21, 2011 in Uncategorized
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From April 4-11, Gov. Susana Martinez ordered flags around the state to be flown at half staff for child abuse awareness and cited a couple recent abuse cases in Northern New Mexico in a release sent out to media explaining the decision.

Some feel she was in the wrong and U.S. flag protocol was infringed on.

Here is a letter published in Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor section of The New Mexican from Taos resident S.R. Bryant:

The U.S. flag at half staff? The federal protocol on U.S. flags says it is only for commemorating a death, and it is very specific about what powers the state governors have in ordering it lowered. They all pertain to death — not to raising awareness of child abuse in New Mexico.

I think our governor has overstepped her authority. My question is, why didn’t any of her staff tell her, or does she think that federal laws do not apply to her?

— S. R. Bryant, Taos

And this from the Gov.’s news release earlier this month on the decision:

“Leland Valdez and Breandra Pena were two beautiful children whose lives ended tragically due to senseless child abuse. Unfortunately, there are many more children across New Mexico who have been victims of violence and neglect. I have ordered flags to be flown at half staff in honor of all of these victims as we work to end.” — Gov. Susana Martinez

What do you think?

  1. Amanda says:

    I think GOV Martinez did a wonderful thing! Yes, lowering the “U.S. flags says it is only for commemorating a death” umm well didnt these innocent victims DIE? I cannot believe anyone would actually have a problem with this?????

  2. Samantha says:

    I agree with amanda, these beautiful children past away as a result of child abuse! What exactly do you not understand? It’s commemorating their sad deaths!
    S.R Bryant, please get your facts straight before writing such a Letter. I’m sure you wouldn’t be saying such a thing if flags were being flown at half staff for one of your children/ grandchildren, or would you?

  3. guest says:

    Good cause, there is no denying that, but there is a reason there are specific guidelines on use of the U.S. Flag. She was in the wrong. I don’t think it was intentional or some statement that she thinks she can do whatever she wants, its just that most people don’t realize the U.S. Flag has very specific use guidelines and thousands of men and women gave their lives for that flag to represent a very specific message about our country. Using that flag in a way to send messages about other societal issues, even ones as serious and heartbreaking as child abuse, only diminishes the flag’s impact. Who is to say the flag shouldn’t be lowered every time a woman is beat to death by her husband, a teen is killed by a drunk driver or a cop is shot in the line of duty. All are VERY worthwhile of our attention, just as child abuse awareness is, but you can’t use the flag for sending a message about everything otherwise it will always be at half staff for something and nobody will ever pay attention to what it means.

    No ill intent, but Martinez was wrong. I won’t post my name because I know some people will only take what I’m saying as somehow disregarding the importance of community awareness of child abuse and I’d rather not hear that right now so “guest” it is.

  4. mike Mcdermott says:

    There are many other ways a Governor can raise awareness, Proclamation, making it child abuse awareness day, go on a state wide tour to promote awareness, etc, etc. This governor is still getting her feet wet and maybe its an honest mistake but none the less a mistake that is worth pointing out so she won’t keep doing it.

  5. CharlesMackentosh says:

    Governor Martinez did the right thing to acknowledge the child abuse of children that has resulted in the death of a child. If these dead children would of been given the opportunity to grow up and contribute to society in the most positive way, some of these youngsters could of been serving our country in the military, police officer’s, firemen, doctor’s, nurses, priests, lawyers, and even a governor. But thier lives were cut short by violence and child abuse. Yeah, the flag at half-mast is appropriate for the dead children and thier little voices being heard while the flag is waving in the wind freely and without obstacles.

  6. Kate Stone says:

    Considering the high numbers of deaths due to drunk drivers here in NM I suggest we just leave the flag at half staff.

  7. Clare says:

    The problem is that this could easily lead to her abusing the use of the US flag for political reasons. What’s to prevent her from taking the next step and flying the flag at half mast to “mourn” aborted fetuses? And then the next Democratic governor could use it to “mourn” grey wolves, and before we know it, the flag is at half mast 24/7 for political reasons.

  8. […] Was Gov. wrong to order flags flown at half staff for child abuse? […]

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