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Whitney Houston and the NJ Flag Flap [Poll]

Flickr user eschipul

If you have a Facebook account it’s doubtless that, over the past few days, you’ve noticed people sharing their opinions about Governor Chris Christie’s decision to fly flags at half-mast in honor of Whitney Houston this Saturday, the expected day of her funeral.

The vast majority of outspoken opinions seem to be disagreement that an entertainer should have this honor bestowed over American servicemen and women who die in the line of duty every day. There also seems to be a strong feeling that Whitney’s sad history of drug use is a reason that she shouldn’t be honored (there was nearly no public outrage when flags were lowered in the state last June in honor of E Street Band member Clarence Clemons).

I think it’s important that we do our due diligence and make sure we have all the facts involved. Before writing this article, I searched Google for “nj flags half mast“, the very first result I came up with was a list of all of the executive orders that have been signed in New Jersey since 1968. If you direct your web browser to find “flag” within the page, you will see entry after entry declaring flags to be lowered to honor individual members of the military, firefighters, police officers, and other public officials who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

While we can debate all day long about whether hometown celebrities such as Clarence Clemons and Whitney Houston deserve to be honored similarly to service members, I think it’s important to point out that the State of New Jersey has not forgotten those who have given their lives in the line of duty. Unfortunately, as a whole, the public may take more notice when a celebrity is lost, but that’s a whole different discussion.

So, the big question is:

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