half-mast

[haf-mast, hahf-mahst]
noun
1.
a position approximately halfway between the top of a mast, staff, etc., and its base.
verb (used with object)
2.
to place (a flag) at half-mast, as a mark of respect for the dead or as a signal of distress.

Origin:
1620–30

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
half-mast
 
n
1.  the lower than normal position to which a flag is lowered on a mast as a sign of mourning or distress
 
vb
2.  (tr) to put (a flag) in this position

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Though he was but a private citizen, flags flew at half-mast all over the city.
All state buildings have been directed to fly their flags at half-mast from sunrise to sunset.
The flags upon the several armories will be displayed at half-mast on the day of the funeral, from sunrise to sunset.
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