Home News Our flag at half-staff – Chicago Tribune

Our flag at half-staff – Chicago Tribune

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Good morning, Chicago.

This Memorial Day, assuming you wake up early enough, you may notice the United States flag at half-staff. When you get up matters, because on Memorial Day, and only on Memorial Day, Old Glory flies at half-staff until noon. Afterwards, it’s back to full-staff.

That’s proper flag protocol.

The United States, perhaps you didn’t realize, is rich in flag protocol. In fact, the Tribune’s Christopher Borrelli was talking the other day with James Ferrigan, chief protocol expert for the North American Vexillological Association — vexillology being the study of flags — and he said, “In terms of our flag awareness, the United States is the second most flag conscious country. We have a code for handling the flag, and a national song about the flag, and millions of us pledge allegiance to their flag daily.” In many countries, the national flag is “just window dressing, and not even allowed to be owned by its citizens unless they get permission.”

Being such a flag-friendly population — particularly Chicago, having woven its own starred city flag into more T-shirts than Tommy Hilfiger — I bet many of you have noticed something odd about the U.S. flag lately: It seems to be flying at half-staff all the time. Borrelli explores why this holiday.

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Team President and CEO Kevin Warren, Karen Murphy, executive vice president of stadium development, Mayor Brandon Johnson, and chairman George McCaskey in front of a rendering after the Bears announced plans to build a new domed lakefront stadium on April 24, 2024, at Soldier Field. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)
Team President and CEO Kevin Warren, Karen Murphy, executive vice president of stadium development, Mayor Brandon Johnson, and Bears Chairman George McCaskey in front of a rendering after the Bears announced plans to build a new domed lakefront stadium on April 24, 2024, at Soldier Field. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Legislature won’t act on Bears’ stadium funding request this spring, lawmakers say 

The Chicago Bears’ appeal for more than $2 billion in public assistance to build a new domed stadium on a reimagined lakefront is on hold until at least the fall, high-ranking Democratic lawmakers confirmed Saturday.

Dorothy Jean Tillman, 18, at the library of her family home in Chicago on May 17, 2024. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)
Dorothy Jean Tillman, 18, at the library of her family home in Chicago on May 17, 2024. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

She earned her first college degree at 10. Now, this Bronzeville teen has a Ph.D.

Dorothy Jean Tillman II had always dreamed of her prom dress: royal blue, with a sweetheart neckline and a fitted bodice.

“She’s such a teenager,” her mom, Jimalita Tillman said.

But unlike other teens, Dorothy isn’t in high school — far from it. Earlier this month, the 18-year-old graduated with a Ph.D. in integrated behavioral health from Arizona State University. Her friends call her DJ, short for Dorothy “Jeanius.”

Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez speaks at a Chicago Board of Education meeting on March 21, 2024. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)
Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez speaks at a Chicago Board of Education meeting on March 21, 2024. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

Chicago’s first school board elections are less than 6 months away. Here’s what to know on the possible outcomes for schools

This fall, 10 of the 21 seats will be elected by the public, with the mayor continuing to elect the remaining 11 seats and appointing a board president. By 2027, all 21 members will be voted in. Those members will be elected by voters in 20 districts, who will also elect one president at-large.

Misty Tiggs, center, chats with Juatise Gathings, right, at the gravesite of Tiggs' daughter Rickisha King-Tiggs as friends and family celebrate the birthday of Rickisha at Forest Home Cemetery on March 29, 2024. At left, Rickisha's friend Rose Lewis takes a photograph with her daughter Zuri, 6. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)
Misty Tiggs, center, chats with Juatise Gathings, right, at the gravesite of Tiggs’ daughter Rickisha King-Tiggs as friends and family celebrate the birthday of Rickisha at Forest Home Cemetery on March 29, 2024. At left, Rickisha’s friend Rose Lewis takes a photograph with her daughter Zuri, 6. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)

‘She was beautiful’: A mother deep in grief over loss of her daughter, allegedly slain by a man she had reported for harassing her

In the small back bedroom of a West Side apartment, the ceiling light stays on.

Day and night, rain or shine, the light falls on an elaborate tribute to Rickisha King-Tiggs: her backpack, her graduation regalia, the expensive Fendi bag she once hid under her bed. It sits on the dresser, never used, protective wrapping still on its handles.

The Prairie State Energy Campus on Sept. 16, 2021, in Marissa, Illinois. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)
The Prairie State Energy Campus on Sept. 16, 2021, in Marissa, Illinois. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

Naperville, St. Charles, Winnetka and dozens of other communities urged to double down on coal

As President Joe Biden pushes to accelerate the nation’s transition to clean energy, three Chicago suburbs and more than two dozen other Illinois communities are mulling plans to double down on lung-damaging, climate-changing coal.

Naperville, St. Charles, Winnetka and 29 downstate municipalities are investors in the Prairie State Generating Station, a massive coal-fired power plant in southern Illinois that last year spewed 12.4 million tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — more than only six other electricity providers in the United States.

Injured Sky center Kamilla Cardoso poses for a picture with a young fan before the home opener against the Connecticut Sun on May 25, 2024, at Wintrust Arena. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)
Injured Sky center Kamilla Cardoso poses for a picture with a young fan before the home opener against the Connecticut Sun on May 25, 2024, at Wintrust Arena. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)

Sky fans temper newfound attention with heightened expectations

For longtime Sky fans, it feels as if women’s basketball finally arrived at its breakthrough moment.

That feeling built up long before the Sky’s home opener Saturday against the Connecticut Sun. Across the WNBA, business is booming — 10 sold-out games during opening week, a 14% increase in attendance across the league, a 181% increase in ESPN viewership. And in Chicago, the arrival of first-round picks Kamilla Cardoso and Angel Reese lifted the Sky to new heights.

White Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi pops out in the ninth inning against the Orioles on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at Guaranteed Rate Field. Interference was called on baserunner Andrew Vaughn, resulting in a game-ending double play. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)
White Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi pops out in the ninth inning against the Orioles on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at Guaranteed Rate Field. Interference was called on baserunner Andrew Vaughn, resulting in a game-ending double play. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)

Controversial ending to White Sox-Orioles game draws eyes from MLB

Andrew Vaughn couldn’t recall ever seeing anything like the finish of Thursday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Vaughn was on second base and Gavin Sheets on first as the White Sox were attempting to complete an epic comeback.

Vaughn was called for interference as Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson made his way to catch Andrew Benintendi’s infield popup. The infield fly rule was in effect. And with the interference ruling, the game ended with the Sox suffering an 8-6 loss.

The odd sequence remained the talk around Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday afternoon. General manager Chris Getz confirmed the team heard from Major League Baseball.

Canadian author Alice Munro in Victoria, British Columbia on Dec.10, 2013. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press via AP)
Canadian author Alice Munro in Victoria, British Columbia, on Dec.10, 2013. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press via AP)

Biblioracle: Remembering Alice Munro, a giant of contemporary literature

Alice Munro was a giant of contemporary literature. That’s what the Nobel, and a lifetime achievement citation from the Man Booker International award, and the three Governor’s General awards from her native Canada evidence. But it seems strange to think of an unassuming person who primarily wrote about people from the small south Ontario town she came from via the seemingly humble form of the short story as a giant. That the characterization is undeniably correct is a testament to her unique talent, and her persistent drive to look deeper into the lives of her characters.

Swimmers compete at the start of the Chicago River race, circa 1920s. The race started on the north side of Municipal Pier, now called Navy Pier, and ended near the Jackson Blvd. Bridge. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Swimmers compete at the start of the Chicago River race, circa the 1920s. The race started on the north side of Municipal Pier, now called Navy Pier, and ended near the Jackson Boulevard Bridge. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)

In the early 20th century, the Chicago River Swim was an annual event that drew thousands of spectators

The Chicago River was for much of the city’s history an unlikely sports venue. It was for many years considered an open-air sewer. Residents dumped garbage and human and animal waste into it, making the river a Petri dish for malaria germs. Flowing into Lake Michigan, the river contaminated the city’s drinking water.

A solution was obvious — send the water away from the lake — but not easily accomplished. In 1900, the Chicago River was connected to a canal that fed a complex of rivers flowing into the Mississippi River. Locks reversed the river, except on occasions when climatic events decided otherwise.

A photo from the red carpet at the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 23, 2024 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andre Pain - Pool/Getty Images)
A photo from the red carpet at the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 23, 2024 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andre Pain – Pool/Getty Images)

Column: Cannes we not? This year’s film festival left a sour taste

Each year, the Cannes Film Festival offers an early glimpse of some of the most ambitious filmmaking about to hit the market, with a forward-facing emphasis on the art rather than the commerce of cinema. (Make no mistake, behind the scenes the latter is a key element of the festival as well.) But something about this year’s fest, which wrapped Saturday, left a sour taste, writes critic Nina Metz.



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