Driving through Raleigh today I noticed something unusual. About half the flags I saw were flying at half-mast.
There was no consistency to it. A whole stretch of businesses might have their flying at the top of the pole, while other businesses might have just the national flag at half-mast with the state and local flags flying above it.
What was causing this, I wondered?
I called my mom. She had noticed the exact same thing.
“I bet it’s because of the Pope,” she said.
That made sense. Except, “But the President would have to announce something. He hasn’t.”
“Maybe people are assuming that he did,” she said.
“The thing is,” I said, “there’s no reason why the Pope’s death means we fly our flags at half-mast. Sure, he was the leader of a religion one billion strong, but we wouldn’t fly our flags at half-mast if Vladimir Putin or Tony Blair dropped dead of massive heart attacks next week.”
“People are strange,” she replied.