The Washington Post on Thursday reported that the Department of the Interior raises the department’s official flag above its Washington, D.C. headquarters to indicate when Secretary Ryan Zinke visits the office.
Zinke—who has cultivated a reputation for launching unprecedented attacks on public lands and jettisoning key protections for wildlife—”has revived an arcane military ritual that no one can remember ever happening in the federal government,” the Post reported.
The Post explained:
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While flying a flag to indicate that the boss is on-site remains a military custom, it has for the past several years fallen out of practice among the federal government agencies—although it reportedly remains part of the department’s official manual. Zinke is a former Navy SEAL.
“I’m all about tradition…. but I kind of have an aversion to militarizing everything in our government,” Joseph McMillan, a retired Defense Department official who is a student of flag history and president of the American Heraldry Society, told the Post. “The world doesn’t need to know the secretary of the Interior is in the building.”
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