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WH flags return to full staff less than 48 hours after John McCain’s death, breaking with tradition

Image source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The American flags flying at the White House have returned to full staff Monday, less than 48 hours after Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) death on Saturday.

This move breaks with tradition in which the White House flags are generally flown at half-mast until the burial of a lawmaker and other notable personalities, and is done so in order to honor such figures.

McCain, a longtime Arizona senator who twice sought the presidency after spending more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, died Saturday after battling with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was 81.

A statement about McCain's death said, "Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28pm on August 25, 2018. With the Senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years."

What are the details?

On Saturday, President Donald Trump ordered that the flags be flown at half-staff in honor of McCain's passing.

ABC News correspondent Karen Travers — among other journalists — tweeted a photo of the White House as of Monday morning, however, which showed the White House flags back at full staff.

"Flags at the White House were lowered to half staff this weekend for the passing of John McCain but this morning they are back to full staff," Travers wrote.

"There was no official proclamation from President Trump (as he has done in the past for other notable figures passing)," she added.

Travers also noted that flags at the Washington Monument remain lowered.

"Camera shot facing south over the White House — you can see the flag at the WH at full staff while the flags surrounding the Washington Monument are lowered," Travers tweeted.

"CBS This Morning" reached out to the White House for a comment on the flag. In a tweet, the show revealed that the White House declined to comment on the status of the flag.

"@CBSThismorning reached out to the White House to learn about its plans for the flag today, but it declined to comment," the tweet read.

Anything else?

McCain and Trump had a contentious history.

McCain and his family reportedly did not want the president to attend the senator's funeral services. Instead, the family reportedly requested that former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush deliver eulogies for the Arizona senator.

During Trump's 2016 presidential campaign — and after McCain's cancer diagnosis, which would prove to be fatal — Trump blasted McCain for being a prisoner during the Vietnam War.

Trump also took issue with McCain's move to block a repeal on the Affordable Care Act with his "no" vote, sparking the ire of the president.

Upon notice of McCain's death, Trump tweeted, "My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!"

McCain will lie in the Arizona State Capitol on Wednesday, and then the U.S. Capitol on Friday. McCain will be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Sunday.

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