When former Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr. died Sunday after a long illness, Gov. Rick Perry reached out to the U.S. government, asking for flags to be flown at half-mast at federal buildings in Texas. The response, Perry's office says, was a resounding no.
Under the United States Code, "In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff."
But when Perry's office made the request to the Department of Homeland Security's Denver Megacenter — which distributes flag orders from the White House — Perry was flatly rebuffed, his spokeswoman says. She says federal officials told him he didn't have the authority to make the request.
DHS officials have not yet been reached for comment — and Perry's office says they think it was just bureaucratic confusion.
Sources are reporting that flags are now at half-staff at Texas federal buildings — and that the Denver Megacenter never should've been the governor's point of contact. DHS officials say it's a law enforcement intelligence center, and has nothing to do with flag lowering or raising.