You may have noticed that flags are flying half staff in some areas of the Hudson Valley. There are two reasons why.

The American Flag is flown at half staff in times of morning or distress. Usually, guidance as to when to lower the flag comes from the Federal or State Government. Most recently, the Federal Government ordered all flags to fly at half staff after the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Local Governments also have the ability to decide to lower the flag for their own displays of respect. On Tuesday the Dutchess County Government announced that they would be lowering all flags in the County for two reasons this week.

Ulster County Executive, Mike Hein, had previously announced that flags in Ulster County would  fly flags at half-staff in honor of Hinchey. Maurice Hinchey passed away last week at the age of 79 after battling a terminal neurological disorder. His services will be held on Wednesday in Saugerties.

Gwen Estelle was elected a Dutchess County Legislator in 1987, representing District 34 in Hyde Park for several years. Estelle passed away on November 17 after a long illness. Services take place on Tuesday at St. Peter's Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel in Poughkeepsie.