President Obama Orders Flags at Half-Staff for Chattanooga Victims After Conservative Backlash

The decision comes five days after the shooting took place.

ByBENJAMIN SIEGEL
July 21, 2015, 1:22 PM
PHOTO: The American flag is lowered to half staff above the White House in Washington,  July 21, 2015, to honor the five U.S. service members who were killed by a gunman in Chattanooga, Tenn. last week.
The American flag is lowered to half staff above the White House in Washington, July 21, 2015, to honor the five U.S. service members who were killed by a gunman in Chattanooga, Tenn. last week.
Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

— -- Five days after the shooting in Chattanooga, President Obama today ordered that flags be flown at half-staff to honor the five service members killed in the attack.

The presidential proclamation comes after Republicans in Washington and on the presidential campaign trail criticized the president for not properly honoring the victims.

This morning, Republican leaders in Congress ordered flags to half-staff at the U.S. Capitol.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump also called for flags to be lowered on his commercial properties, and blasted Obama for the “disgraceful omission.”

"This disgraceful omission is unacceptable and yet another example of our incompetent politicians," Trump wrote in a statement. "It is a simple yet meaningful and important gesture that signifies our respect and recognition for these great soldiers who lost their lives. We must do better for all Americans, especially our military."

Obama has also taken criticism from conservatives on social media. Marcus Luttrell, the former Navy SEAL whose experience in Afghanistan was depicted in the film "Lone Survivor," called on the president to order flags to half-staff in a Facebook post.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest did not have an answer for reporters on Monday when asked in the daily press briefing why the president hadn't ordered flags to half-staff, only to say that Obama had offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

According to the presidential proclamation, flags will be flown at half-staff at the White House, public building, embassies and military buildings until sunset on July 25.

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