By the President of the United States of America
William O. Douglas served on the Supreme Court longer than any Justice in American history?more than 36 years. During all that time, individual freedom in this country had no mightier champion. As he wrote in more than one of his opinions, "The essential scheme of our Constitution and Bill of Rights was to take Government off the backs of people."
The freedom which Justice Douglas cherished?and which he struggled to preserve for all Americans?faces constant testing. Now, as our Nation gathers to meet yet another test, it is fitting that we pause to honor William Douglas and to remember his many contributions to our country.
Now, Therefore, I, Jimmy Carter, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me, do hereby proclaim that, as a mark of respect to the memory of William O. Douglas and his numerous contributions to our Nation, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff on all buildings, grounds and naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until his interment.
I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of January in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fourth.