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Christie Orders Flags Lowered To Half-Staff In Honor Of Whitney Houston

By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Today, flags in New Jersey will be lowered to half-staff in memory of Whitney Houston and there are new details on funeral services for the legendary singer.

Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Alicia Keys will sing at Whitney Houston’s funeral service. And, Houston’s ex-husband, singer Bobby Brown has been invited to attend the service.

Police in Newark will shut down streets for six blocks around the church to keep the public away.  There will be two staging areas for memorials.

Today, flags in New Jersey will be lowered to half-staff. In issuing the order, Governor Chris Christie says, “Houston leaves a legacy that will be cherished for years.”

But, the governor has been criticized by people who feel flags at half-staff should be reserved for service men and women or first responders.

Opinions here in the Garden State differ. Some are dubious about bestowing such an honor on a performer.

“I totally agree with that. (It) should only be for first responders. And (it’s) out of respect.”

“It boggles my mind that they can even consider something like that, but that’s the world we live in, everyone’s got to be so P.C. and make her into some huge ordeal.”

Others say it’s a fitting tribute to a legend.

“She was the greatest singer in the world, why not?  I mean she was an icon.”

“No, I think it’s okay. I think times are changing. She was kind of like an icon you would say.”

Christie has ordered flags at half staff over 40 times in his term, including for saxophonist Clarence Clemons, and for every soldier who’s been killed in action, or first responder killed in the line of duty.

You can see a livestream of the service right here on, starting at noon, tomorrow.

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One Comment

  1. Michele says:

    I am HUGE fan of Whitney Houston. BUT, to lower the flag is WRONG.

  2. Thomas Ledbetter says:

    Deaths of Officials or Dignitaries
    By order of the president of the United States, the flag is flown at half-mast when certain officials die. By federal law, these people include “principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory.”

    A state governor may order the U.S. flag to be flown at half-mast if a member of state government dies. Also, upon the death of a member of the military engaged in active duty, the governor of that person’s state of citizenship may also order the flag to fly at half-mast.

    Only the president of the United States or the governor of a state or territory may order that flags be flown at half-mast. Flying a flag at half-mast without these executive orders is illegal, though rarely prosecuted.

    Read more: Laws Concerning Flying the U.S. Flag at Half-Mast |

  3. Kim N says:

    I am sorry on her death.; however, she is not worthy to receive that honor. This is just a joke!

  4. Brenda L. Vazquez-Alvarez says:

    This is a disrespect to our Country and our soldiers who have fought long and hard and soldiers who have died in the battlefield. I understand she had a beautiful voice, but to bring the flags down in her honor that’s a smack on every soldier who has fought, died and is still missing. WOW what is America coming to. Does this mean that for each and every soldier that has passed are we going to bring the flags down? I am pretty sure that will not be done. WOW her battle to drugs is not the same type of battle our true American Heroes have fought and continue to fight for. I am so disappointed.and hurt as a veteran and a future Army Soldier’s Wife.

    1. Anonymous says:

      That is absolutely true. Governor Christie’s actions were grossly innapropriate to honor Whitney with this ceremonial tribute. It is not innapropriate because of her race, gender, or history of substance abuse. This honor should be saved strictly for service men and women and first responders killed in the line of duty (i.e. police officers).

  5. LynnVet54 says:

    I do grieve for her family….but I don’t feel that she deserves the honor of flags to be lowered. This was NOT a good decision by our Governor !!!

  6. Tom says:

    This is a travesty to all who have given their lives for this country and even more so a slap in the face of their families.

  7. Susan says:

    What a disgrace to our fallen service members! Whiteny Houston is not worthy to recieve the same honor as someone who laid down their lives for our freedom!!

  8. Christopher Reed says:

    Lowering the flag should be reserved for national heroes and for those who have honored America. Ms. Houston’s untimely death was sad, but she does not deserve this honor.

  9. Cindy says:

    Flying the American Flag at half staff should be reserved for military and first responders, not for a drug addicted singer. What is that really teaching our children?

    1. Shaina says:

      Exactly! It is teaching our children it is ok you can go be a drug addict and drowned in the tub and we will honor you but if you join the military and die defending all Americans well it just depends you might get some kind of honor… what do you think they will choose?

  10. Dee says:

    The flag is a symbol of this country and should be heralded as such. The flag being lowered at half staff should remain for those who served this country to protect it, cherish it, defend it and honor it.
    Let us not continue to condemn Whitney by the drug addict comments. She was a human being. We all have our faults and tribulations. She was a human being, a woman with talent not matched by any, a daughter, a sister a mother. Whitney may you finally rest in perfect peace.

  11. Terry Pendergraft says:

    Very Disrespectful to our Veterans

  12. dave says:

    Since when does a governor have the authority to issue an order to lower the USA flag to half-staff? I thought that authority was only afforded to the President of the USA.

    1. Gary says:

      The Flag Code does spell out many specifics. But it does say The President is not the only one who can order a half staffing. It gives governors the right also. Many state laws provide for governors being able to order half staff also. However keep in mind, orders from The President or any other government official apply to government flags only. The President and the Federal Government can not order that citizens half staff a flag. (

  13. Terry says:

    What is this Country coming to? I’m sorry to hear of her death,But people die in this Country every 16 seconds or so. She wasn’t special, she was just an entertainer. The Gov.should get his priorities in order, Must be a slow day .

  14. missy says:

    Maybe we should have a national holiday for all the druggie artists who died. Or maybe eat a double cheeseburger to honor fat Christie day.

  15. Noonema1 says:

    not worthy of the gesture

  16. Eddie Turner says:

    I am a service member and it really bothers me to see that the US Flag be lowered for a person that hasn’t served the public or the country. Lets be for real here.

    1. Jen says:

      I agree with you. The flag be lowered should only be done for the people who served the country and public.

      1. Shaina says:

        First @ Mr. Turner thank you so much for what you do! It take a wonderfully brave and selfless person! Whitney Houston is an “American Icon” not an “American Hero”!!! The flag being flown at half staff is ONLY for American Heroes no matter where they come from…whether is is the military, first responders, or whatever they are but not an Icon….

  17. janet persiaq says:

    is this the message to send to children do drugs and you will be honored by lowering flag so sad

  18. Are you kidding me says:

    Are you kidding me? It is time to stop honoring her. She ruined her life by abusing drugs and this is what we want to celebrate? It is about time we stop honoring these celebrities who do this. They are not role models for our children. You want to honor someone, honor the soldier who give the ultimate sacrifice to make us safe.

  19. jackandbob says:

    I am very sad for Whitney, but lowering flags for a drug addict really lowers the standard. I think fat Christie just wants some more attention

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