Newtown flag fully raised Sunday

The flag in the center of Newtown flies at full mast as seen from Old Castle Drive on Sunday, December 23, 2012, nine days after 28 people were killed during a day of violence in Newtown. Photo: JOSHUA TRUJILLO / HEARST NEWSPAPERS Read more:

The flag that had been at half-staff in the heart of Newtown was fully raised Sunday, nine days after 20 students and six teachers were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The flag there and at all public buildings in the United States were flown half-staff after a proclamation by President Barack Obama on Dec. 14, the day of the rampage. Obama’s order required all flags on U.S. grounds and naval vessels remain that way until sunset, Dec. 18.

But the flag in the center of Newtown – and other places in Connecticut – remained at half-staff until after the funerals for the children and teachers killed. Many had funerals at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church and wakes at Honan Funeral Home, a short walk down Main Street from the flagpole in Newtown.

Connecticut and U.S. flags were at full-staff Sunday – a day that had many Connecticut residents home on holiday breaks.

The flagpole, where one was first installed in 1876, is 110 feet with 10 feet underground. A 12-foot-by-18 foot American flag is flown there in winter, but in the spring a larger 20-foot-by-30-foot U.S. flag is raised by the Newtown Hook and Ladder Fire Company under the supervision of former Police Lieutenant David Lydem, according to city’s website.

The temporary memorials that have drawn messages from around the world will be removed next week, but will be “processed” into a permanent memorial, according to the Newtown Bee. First Selectwoman Pat Llodra made the decision, the newspaper reported.

The U.S. flag was at half-staff on Newtown’s Main Street to honor of the people killed when a gunman opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School. The picture at left was taken Dec. 15, a day after 26 victims were killed at the school. The photo at right was taken Sunday, Dec. 23, the day the flag returned to regular height. (AP/Joshua Trujillo/Hearst Newspapers)

Casey McNerthney