I've not been able to find an official number of days, but it sure feels like flags have been flying at half-staff more than at full-staff over the past year.

Whether they were lowered for a U.S. head-of-state that passed away or more recently to honor the lives that were lost because of a senseless tragedy, there doesn't seem to be much time elapsing between the times when Ol' Glory is flying at half-staff.

What's the difference between half-staff and half-mast?

Basically, the difference is if the flag is flying on land or on the sea. A flag that's lowered on land is flying at "half-staff," while if you're on a ship it would be flying at "half-mast."

According to Wikipedia, there are "rare occasions" an American flag should be displayed at half-staff, and they are:

READ: Why is an Illinois Resident Flying their U.S. Flag Upside Down?


Why are U.S. flags in Illinois currently at half-staff but not in other states?

The Illinois Flag Display Act allows Governor J.B. Pritzker to order flags be flown at half-staff anytime an Illinois member of the "armed forces, police force, fire service and other groups covered by the Act killed in the line of duty."

Yesterday (Wednesday 4/5), Governor Pritzker announced that flags should immediately be flown at half-staff through sunset on Monday, April 10 to honor a firefighter and EMT from the Chicago Fire Department.

49-year-old Jermaine Pelt died while working to put out "an extra-alarm fire" in Chicago, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Fallen firefighter in Chicago honored by procession

According to NBC Chicago, the body of Jermaine Pelt was taken from the hospital to the medical examiner's office and was escorted by dozen of emergency personnel vehicles.

LOOK: 20 American foods that raise eyebrows outside of the US

Stacker compiled a list of 20 unusual and uniquely American foods that might raise eyebrows outside the U.S.

LOOK: The oldest cities in America

Though the United States doesn’t have as long of a history as some Old World countries, it still has plenty of historical charm. Stacker brings you a list of the 50 oldest cities in America.

More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5