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An official period of mourning is one which is declared by a Government usually to show respect for a recently deceased head of state or government, former head of state or national figure.

In Jamaica, a period of mourning is usually initiated by the Government from the guidelines in the State Protocol for Mourning Heads of State, Heads of Government, National Icons and Persons of Similar Importance.

Periods of mourning may also be initiated to mark a tragic event, and may even extend to international figures who are friends of the nation. The period varies and may last from 1 week to a number months, as determined by the Government.

A mourning period following the death of an individual usually includes a number of activities to honour the deceased and culminates with the funeral or interment of the deceased.

Below are guidelines that must be observed during a period of national mourning.

Flag Protocol

The National Flag is to be flown at half-mast on all public buildings customarily from 8:00 a.m. until sundown; a similar procedure would be in order for those hoisting flags in locations outside the public sector domain. ‘Half-mast’ refers to approximately the ‘hoist’ or width (short side) of the flag below the peak of the flagstaff and not halfway down the mast. The flag should first be hoisted close up and then lowered to the half-mast position.

Before the flag is lowered at sunset, it should again be hoisted close up and then lowered fully.

In instances where there is more than one flagstaff, the National Flag should always be raised on the right-hand side (left-hand as seen by the outside observer). Any other flag must be flown to the left of the National Flag.

Protocol on Activities

• Travel by officials should be limited
• There should be curtailment or postponement of public and social events, especially those that are deemed celebratory or that might be excessively noisy

Deportment of Public Officials

• Modest attire in sombre colours should be worn, especially by state officials.
• Uniformed officers of groups such as the Red Cross, Scouts, Cadets, Girl Guides should wear black crepe or cloth armbands on their left sleeves during this period.

Period of Mourning for Former Prime Minister the Most Honourable Edward Phillip George Seaga, ON, PC

The Government designated the morning of Wednesday, June 19, 2019, to the evening of Saturday, June 22, 2019 as the official period of mourning for Former Prime Minister of Jamaica the Most Honourable Edward Phillip George Seaga.

The State Funeral for Mr. Seaga will be held on Sunday, June 23, beginning at noon, at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, 1 George Headley Drive in Kingston. Interment will follow at the National Heroes Park.

For Additional Information Contact:
The Protocol Department
The Office of the Prime Minister
1 Devon Road
Kingston 10
Telephone: 876 927-9941-3

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