**FILE** Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (Courtesy of National Newspaper Publishers Association)
**FILE** Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (Courtesy of National Newspaper Publishers Association)

D.C. Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a bill Tuesday to add the city’s mayor to the list of principals for whom the president must order the nation’s flag be flown at half-staff.

Current law states that the president must order the flag to be flown at half-staff 鈥渦pon the death of principal figures of the United States government and the governor of a state, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory.鈥

Norton said D.C. mayors, who perform many of the same functions as state and territorial governors, clearly qualify as principals and should receive equal recognition.

鈥淓ven though the District is not yet the 51st state it strives to be, we should treat a deceased D.C. mayor the same respect as comparable figures of states, territories, or possessions, which are named in the statute,鈥 she said. 鈥淚 can only assume that the omission of the District of Columbia was an oversight and not meant to disrespect a deceased D.C. mayor or the residents of the District of Columbia. Adding D.C.鈥檚 mayor to the list of officials who can be honored with flags flown at half-staff is a small but, to D.C. residents, significant way to ensure residents receive the equal treatment they deserve.鈥

This effort joins other initiatives that Norton has launched to have the District on the same level ceremonially as other state-level jurisdictions. As a result of her work, she has gotten the District recognition with the District of Columbia War Memorial honoring only city residents who served in the first World War; D.C.鈥檚 Frederick Douglass and Pierre L鈥橢nfant statutes sits in the U.S. Capitol alongside statutes from the other 50 states; the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 requires the armed services to display the District flag whenever the flags of the states are displayed; D.C. has a coin after it was omitted from legislation creating coins for the 50 states; the U.S. Postal Service created a District stamp, like the stamps for the 50 states; and the National Park Service added the District flag alongside the state flags across from Union Station.

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