Did NJ Disrespect the Troops?

No. But that hasn’t stopped some local residents from complaining about Governor Chris Christie’s decision to fly the state’s flags at half-staff during Whitney Houston’s funeral in her home town of Newark this Saturday. They point out Whitney’s famous struggles with illegal drugs and claim that honoring someone like her minimizes the deaths of troops killed in action who receive the same honor.

Gov. Christie is not interested in the complaints. Whitney’s the biggest-ever singer from the state except for maybe Frank Sinatra and points out that no one complained when he lowered the flags after Bruce Springsteen’s sax player Clarence Clemons died last fall.

If you think this is the kind of thing everyone should get worked up about, we’re happy to provide the above video, which features a local news station talking to an actual member of the Harlem Globetrotters to get his feedback on the controversy.

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65 Comments

  1. I think it is great when a state honors a person. It means the person had to do a lot of good but as we know only the bad is remembered.

    • JAMES GREIG says:

      I am outrage that they Lower flag for her i serve 30 years and men i know have die in battle, Whitney should have been honor some other way

  2. MMCM(SS/SW) gary Swi says:

    I really think we should ask ourselves this question. Does this set a good example for our children? The behavior of drug and alcohol abuse is not what I want for my children and grand children. I also think that honor should be reserved for the real heros that have shown the sacrifices they made for this country.

    • JayPA says:

      Poor behavior is normally overlooked when it comes to celebrities. So the message I see for young kids, if you’re going to be an addict have a entertainment talent. If not, you will likely in up in prison or shunned.

    • Pamela Stanczak says:

      I Agree with you, Mr Switzer. Celeberties are overlooked when it comes to Addictions.. But, not anyone Else. He should be able to fly the flag, half mast, as he chooses. Yes, Whitney was a Big Star as Michael Jackson, but enough already about her.. We Should Never Disrespect our Military. I come from a Military family and my son is also serving and has for 13 1/2 yrs. and Im Proud of our Men and Women serving to Protect and Keep this Country, the United States, Safe from Harm !! God Bless You All… OK, Now, We to Need to Help our Children and grand children from any of the bad things in life, Like Drugs and Alcohol, Not Promote it !!!
      Thank you for letting me share my thoughts of this..

      From A Proud Mom and MomMom..

    • Charles says:

      Who told you she was abusing drugs? You don’t know if your own children are using them, I don’t know if mine are, only what they tells me??????
      Stop Bashing the Gov. he has the right to appoint States-Man for his-Her States, that did good, not only in the Military.

      Stay ret.

      • IT2 jon Salpas says:

        @Charles you sir are an ***. MMCM I completely agree we should not be lowering flags for celebrities in the first place, and one who had a large portion of her life revolve around drugs is rediculous. Myself (IT2 Active) and my family did not fly lowered flags. We also encouraged others not too. That is an honor reserved for those who serve their country and give their lives to protect it; Not drug addict entertainers.

      • Julie says:

        Witney admitted she used drugs for years… And there were several empty bottles of prescription meds at her night table. And if you honestly don’t know if your children are using drugs then you are foolish. She doesn’t deserve the honor she was given just because she gave back to her school. If she died given her life for our freedom then she deserves that honor. The check she wrote wasn’t in the amount of her life!

      • Bob says:

        Charles,
        Your an idiot, Its common knowledge she was an addict, The Gov. made a wrong choice, she may have given some time and money to support our troops, but that has nothing to do with ” honoring a patriot” which is why we lower our flag. She was an entertainer who set a poor example for everyone who saw or read about her. It is very sad that another life has been (probably) taken by drugs, but totally inappropriate for her to be honored in this way.

      • Danny says:

        The woman was on numerous talk shows and news programs speaking about her drug and alcohol problems. She took a gift from God and destroyed it. This I see no honor in.

    • Perry Traylor says:

      I know that there are more important issues to worry about , no one said anything about Elvis being a big druggy until after he was dead and still it is pretty much overlooked, so if the Gov. of NJ wants to do that then more power to him. There is no disrespect to the troops not telling the American public the true facts about what going on in the Stan is a more critical issue, wouldn’t you agree. Parents should be a childs role model.

  3. donte says:

    The flag belongs to all Americans and not just the military. This was a fine lady who had bad problems like many people in this country. I’ve got no problem with the honor she received.

    • Angry Zombie says:

      I can’t believe what I just read from you… If you really believe that, then why not just “petition” the powers to be to keep the flad at half staff the entire year, since I’m sure there is at least one person in America if not in Jersey itself who are battling as you would call it… A bad problem.

  4. Bart says:

    People forget that she was a HUGE supporter of the military. She donated all proceeds from the Superbowl National Anthem single and video to returning Gulf War I troops. She slso gave a private concert for the returning troops and families.…she even got HBO to broadcast it free to the world (65M people watched). She even re-released the single in 2001 and donated all proceeds to firefighters and police recovering from the 9/11 attacks. She also did a huge amount of charity work for other charities.…she had some issues, but that doesn’t negate all of the good.

  5. Lew says:

    I know my friends who didn’t come back didn’t do it for medals, flags at half mast or fame. They did it for duty, pay and friends.

    If anyone wants to honor them — that’s great. If you don’t want to honor them — free country. If the state of NJ wants to honor someone else — their choice.

  6. David Burton says:

    The lowering of the flag to Half-Staff is a sign of respect and mourning. It is not just reserved for soldiers. This honor has been awarded to Politicians, Astronauts, Sports Figures and Entertainers. She did many good things.

    If you are worried about the mixed message sent to your children, perhaps you should talk to them about it.

    • karen swank says:

      Absolutely! She has donated millions to the less fortunate and started several foundations and so on. Can anyone posting on this page say they have done that? People will try to dishonor anything good and humble! Whitney Houston was a person of contribution, not only to her hometown, but to this nation. God Bless You Whitney Houston.

  7. Soldier says:

    The National Colors are lowered for NATIONAL figures. Houston was a burned out addict. LIve with it. Frankly, War Dogs killed in action saved more lives and did more for the nation then Houston.

    • Julie says:

      God bless you Soldier!

    • SUPPORTER2 says:

      I WAS A SOLIDER, COME FROM A LONG LINE OF THEM, AND IS MARRIED TO ONE. DO YOU KNOW ANY SOLIDERS THAT ARE ADDICTED TO DRUGS, ALCOHOL, OR BEATING WOMEN.…WELL I DO, AND I’M SURE YOU DO TOO. NO ONE IS PERFECT, EVERYONE MAKE MISTAKES!!! SHE HAVE ALSO DO A LOT OF GOOD!!!!!!!!!

  8. Gunner Brian says:

    I keep hearing all the know-nothing people talking about the flag being lowered to half-staff for “soldiers and sailors killed in action.” Idiots! If we lowered the flag to half-staff for our military men killed in action, we would not have raised it to full staff yet, since Sept. 2001. Why don’t we teach people anything in school any more?

    • Gunner Brian: THe flag is only to be lowered for those who have given their lives or spent their lives in service of their country. It is not a national lowering of the flag for servicement, usually only for the state they come from. There would have been no discussion if the Gov. had just lowered his State Flag…that would be much more appropriate. They didn’t lower the flag for Elvis either…and he was in the Army. He did serve his country in the Armu bit was not killed in protecting the country or the citizens of the US. Neither did Whitney. Both left a legacy, but do not deserve the US Flag to be lowered for their funerals.

  9. james harrison says:

    my hole family has severed in the armed severces to lower the flags for singer that has drugs problems is completly unjustifiable. and it also belittles the men and women that put their lives on the line for the greater good of the country

  10. Conservative Veteran says:

    As a Tea Party veteran, I have no respect for this RINO Christie.

    If he ever seeks political office on a national stage, I’m going to remember how he disrespected my military buddies who died for the American flag.

    This means Christie will never, ever have my vote.

    Don’t Tread On America!

  11. gary says:

    please!would the idiots just give it a break,here was a very beautifull and talented lady, and was good person inside and out, untilll she met up witha big idiot,
    and i think she served her country well and alsoas i see the majority of the vets, are not really complaining about it and i think the states should recoginize their heros, i know penna should have done it for jo-pa for what he did for pennstate and also the education, side of it​.so just give the lady her dues,i for one think she was a beautifull singer and a beautifull person inside and out and tried her best and we all make mistakes, nobody is perfect!!!!!!!!

  12. navymp9502 says:

    She is about as bad of example as fat boy is. How bout lowering the flag when soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors, Police Officers and Firemen who die in the line of duty instead of taking crack, cocaine, weed and makeing millions of dollars while all these heros put their sixes on the line to protect her *** and the rest of those supporters of the decision made by the floating fat man. What a slap in the face.

  13. USMC says:

    No one complained of Clarence Clemons because he died of a stroke! Whitney died like any other crackhead in Newark .. OD’ing in a hotel bathtub. I respected her talent, but you cannot ask me to mourn her by putting the flag half-staff.. Though I think it was ignorant.. I believe that people that live an exemplary life and lifestyle deserve that honor… And her addiction is not a lifestyle I want my kids to follow.. So since Christie decided to lower the flag for Whitney, then I say he should lower it for every crackhead that dies in the bathtub… Just saying.. Oohh raah to my fellow military members.. My family honors you guys every day in prayer… To the fallen, the active duty and the vets like myself.

  14. Conservative Veteran says:

    Whitney’s funeral was nationally televised. She got the attention that she probably wanted.

    (and I changed the channel when the pundits started to idolize her in their mass hysteria of Kim Jong-il-like misery)

    To keep insisting that somehow the American flag also needed to be lowered for her is overkill.

    Whitney was no Seal Team 6 hero who died fighting against the evils of tyranny.

    Whitney did nothing to advance the merits of freedom or liberty in America.

    I should not have my American flag lowered for somebody who did not deserve this kind of respect.

    Period.

  15. Marine says:

    I don’t think Americans truly value our troops anymore… why don’t we do a twenty-one gun salute for her as well.

    • cal sumner says:

      Son: You are valued and your contribution is invaluable to me and the nation. Some of us have “Lost our Priorities” and are confused,angry and under the pressure of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS to perform in public in order to keep the status quo ?

    • SUPPORTER2 says:

      I know soliders who are into drugs, alcohol, beating women and so on.…should they be honored?!!

  16. TOM says:

    I think most people miss the point of the argument, or at least my point. The “DOUGHBOY” of NJ signed an executive order ordering the flags be lowered to half mast just minutes after Houston’s death was announced. Meanwhile it took him a week to sign the order that the flags be lowered for a NJ Marine that was killed in Afghanistan. Maybe he was too busy eating a couple thousand doughnuts or berating/bullying residents at a meeting. The only reason he had the flags lowered was due to the large outcry from Veterans Groups & we all know that he will be a Vice Presidential candidate. The doughboy only cares about himself and could care less about people unless you are a millionaire.

  17. Charlie says:

    Whitney Housten disrespected everything that was ever done for her and by her by allowing herself to be degraded and ruining her life with drugs iniated by her no-count husband. This is not the same as giving your life selflessly for protecting your country. Now her pigish family is selling off everything that she owned to get all the money they can for themselves. We should not honor this behavior with our flag at half mast for her!

    • SUPPORTER2 says:

      She was on drugs before bobby. Like i said before, i know plenty of SOLIDERS who abuse drugs, should they be honored?

  18. Common Sense Vet says:

    The rules for honoring a deceased person by lowering the National colors are quite clear. Mr. Christie usurped an honor for Ms. Houston that was not his to usurp, and he will hear about it from his more informed constitients. The bottom line is Ms. Houston contributed little in terms of a positivbe example, and received a great deal of attention despite her abyssimal conduct. Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse…etc., etc., etc. The real question falls to how we can possibly underwrite this behavior and not expect our country to emulate it? Shame, Mr. Christie…and shame on the sham that the media has become by rushing to the defense of the indefensible.

  19. Bob says:

    I do not think it was appropriate. Flying our flag at half mast for a singer, drug addict, who possibly overdosed on drugs is just wrong. In my eyes she has no accomplishments that warrant this type of honor.

  20. MARLA JACOBS says:

    NJ YOU ARE SO WRONG YOU SHOULD BE FIRED FOR YOUR LEVEL OF DISRE

    I FEEL IT WAS WAY INAPPROPRIATE TO LOWER ARE FLAG FOR A SINGER… DOES MR.CHRISTIE EVEN KNOW WHAT ARE FLAG STANDS FOR HE SHOULD LOOSE HIS JOB FOR THIS AND IF THE GOOD PEOPLE OF NJ WOULD PUT IT TO A VOTE MAY BE YOU CAN GET A REAL MAN FOR THE JOB… MY SON IS OVER THERE RIGHT NOW AND NOT!!! FOR SOME SORRY DRUG HEAD TO GET A ONNER THAT WAS NOT HERS.. SHAM ON YOU …

  21. steven todd says:

    I liked Whitney Houston. But let’s have a reality check. She was an entertainer who had a few hit songs. She admitted using drugs and abusing alcohol on national television. She is not a role satisfactory model for our children. Has the Governor ever lowered the flag for any military casualties from N.J. Of course not. He did it for more votes, period. He’s a horses ***. I’m glad he’s not my Governor.

  22. Marine Mom says:

    Whitney was an entertainer who was paid generously for her talents( every see the ticket price for her talents ?) . She was a great entertianer , no one is saying she isnt . No one is saying she didnt have a kind heart .Or that she didnt deserve a glorious wake /funeral or even the lowering of the New Jersey Flag BUT not the American flag .. As the mother of a marine I can tell yu that out of everyone here that has posted can remember Whitney Houstons name but can you remember the last Soldier that died ? where he lived ( state ) what honors he got before he died or how he died ? did he have a gold casket or a 4 hour service ? who in the industray stood and eulogized his bravery and love for America, What news station played the whole funeral and not 10 minutes on the news between the weather and sports ? What was that Marine known for ? Battalion ? stationed ? wife and kids .. Not one of you and THAT was the real hero you should know and thank „yanno why ? cause he made a choice to put his life on the line for his country that he loved so you can enjoy the freedom battling about Whitney and not dodging bombs …take a Moment to thank those men for their ULTIMATE sacrifice and while whitney was partying , these Men were putting their lives on the line . I am disgusted and embarrased to be an American especially where we have our priorities backwards , we have declined as a country , such a shame .

    Semper Fi

    • SUPPORTER2 says:

      If the family by the gold casket, as hers did, if the family plan a 4 hour service as hers did, FACT is Whitney was NATIONALLY known. EVery one knew her!!!! Not saying that soliders doesn’t deserve notarity, they do.…but unless it’s reported on the national news how would we know about a solider. Soliders also abuse drugs, women, and alcohol.

  23. Army Strong says:

    The flag, the colors, taps, and 21 guns all honors for American Soldiers who commit to the ultimate sacrifice something no other person in this country can possibly understand unless they’ve put that uniform on before and done things needed to be done so people like you, me, and everybody else in this nation can sleep soundly at night, the uniform changes every man and woman that puts that on, its a commitment like no other and it stays with you till the day you die and I think things like this deserve a special place for those that make the commitment, who make the sacrifice, who serve our country…nobody more, nobody less.

  24. Andre g says:

    The question is weird cause when ray charles died in georgia. The lord flag for celebrity who’s came from that state. And if you think that’s wrong you are bad because he wrote george’s states song and he was a drug addict and a woman beater so is basically on there just like the rule book says it doesn’t matter what you say the book says the final answer. Mayor does it as he sees fit. And if you dont like it. You’re probably in an racist homophobic person who’s only mode of transportation is by there pretty pink unicorn.

  25. Brandon says:

    I think for some celebrity **** NO!!! screw that she didnt serve in any army or police or anything like that sure she had a great voice but forget that.

  26. Mark Payton says:

    it’s all about votes, nothing more nothing less.
    Jersey is highways, NY stadiums & diner’s.
    everyone is half-man half-woman, so when they get done they can go “u get the picture” themselves.

  27. Marine Mom says:

    There was sarcasm in that part about the casket and service .

    Yes Soldiers DO ABUSE drugs, Yes they drink yes they are rowdy and yes they get in trouble like everyday people , every day people DIE in Nj , including drug addicts , Gov Christie claims she was from Jersey thats why , many are from Jersey and dont have what she had . Did they lowr flags for Corey Haim ? Did they lower Flags for Kurt Cobain ? Anna Nicole ? ..

    Our Military arent angels **** what they go through and see I would be messed up too ..The problem is they do one thing wrong they and the branch of the service they are in are under more scrutiny then Whitney.. but ohh poor poor Whitney so much stress , lets blame her husband she would never have done that without him — riiiight– .. Did he force her ? Tie her down and make her ? It was her CHOICE ( yes I said choice ) to do drugs .

    The military IS mentioned and if you havent pulled your head from that tight lil **** maybe you would know more about that war in Afghanistan but wait . I bet thats boring stuff to you isnt it , after all your safe , warm , have a right to voice an opinion .. Wonder why you have all that ? Look to the Men that they dont mention , the troops that are not with their family or the ones who will never see them again THEY are the heroes that deserve the HONOR of a flag being lowered , see the fight for FREEDOM and the flag to fly is something they fight for and die for and it should be for only those who FIGHT /DIE for it not some entertainer who was a glutton with drugs and money . Its all about what the flag represents and those who fight to keep her free..

  28. Marine Mom says:

    can you rewrite that so many of us can understand what you have typed?

    • Army SFC Deb says:

      PUNCTUATION please Andre. As a 21 year Veteran just returning from my 2nd deployment, I am outraged by the lack of respect Gov Christie showed. I am held to standards by the military but also because that is how I was raised, with morals and conviction. For all appearances, Whitney Houston was raised in a loving, church-going family with good morals. She became a drug addict all by herself and should not be honored for it. If I became a drug addict right now would I be? I think not! Keep praising her accomplishments but stop putting her on a pedestal and lowering the flag to honor what she did to herself, because what she did was dishonorable!

  29. M says:

    Your an Idiot. She was a dope fiend who destroyed her life, her families lives and a great God given talent because she could not stay off the drugs and alcohol. She deserves none of this attention. When was the last time that Jerry Smith the local pill popper got any recognition. I would have to say never.

  30. all4HIM says:

    Yes he did ! What a stupid question as soon as someone goes into public office they go into idiot mode . There are some good public servants but you can count them on only two hands .

  31. Jenna says:

    I simply dont agree with lowering the flag for whitnry houston. granted she was a supporter of the military but what about all the wives and husbands and families that also support them? Should the flag be lowered everytime one of them dies? The honor of having the flag lowered shuld be reserved for someone who actually served in the army, navy ect, someone who DID something for their country.

  32. davec says:

    I also agree. Flying the flag at half-staff should honor people who have contributed materially to society. Most entertainers, while entertaining, don’t really fit that definition. In addition, while she was talented, the last 12–15 years of Whitney Houston’s life was defined by her drug addictions, not her contributions. She’ll be remembered as much or more for being a drug addict as for her talent. Not to sound too harsh, we shouldn’t fly flags at half-staff to honor a junkie.

  33. Donald says:

    But when you think about it, Risking you’re life for your country kind of out weighs being a wonderful and talented person. Did she take a bullet for you to live in a free society? No. Is she the one who convinced me that when I turn the age of 18. I should enlist? No.

  34. future army soldier says:

    THANK YOU! Finally somebody who truly gets it. She, at least in my opinion, didn’t deserve the American flag lowered, i fully support the military and I am enlisting in a couple years (highschooler) and i’ve had second thoughts about fighting and putting my life on the line for a community that wouldn’t care, because a dead druggy that od’d is more important than the numerous soldiers dieing for our rights/freedom. NJ’S flag? she deserved that, she was generous and entertained millions, Americans flag? Absolutely not! If Christie ever becomes president then i’ve lost all hope for america and will consider going to canada or britain, because the people of america are brainwashed to overly mourn a drug addict because she was famous, but not the military dieing so that they can fell safe at home. Not that i’m enlisting for fame/glory, but to have a drug addict get nationwide overkilled mourning due to christies quick haste, over dead soldiers, well thats just sad.

  35. BILLY LACY says:

    WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO PROPER FLAG ETIQUETTE ????

  36. Charles says:

    You’ve got to be kidding!

  37. Dyanne says:

    Lower the United States flag is not an honor a artist should get …when just a few months ago a fallen soldier…from NJ…was not given this RIGHT. The Gov.should of ordered their state flag…at half mast not the US Flag. She was not a hero. She sang the national anthem..really good.…she got paid to do it. She along with 2other companies donated a little over 530,000…to red cross.…9/11 funds…so have others. She is still just an artist. Not a hero. When have you seen a Gov. Honor a vet whom fell to drugs or alcohol…and lowered the US Flag for them when they past away? This was not something she deserved…or any other artist. Bob Hope didn’t even get this honor. Priorities are mixed up with these Governors. Get it right she isn’t / wasn’t a Hero. We set examples for our kids…what is that saying screw our Military but honor an artist whom used drugs ?

  38. Dyanne says:

    She did not donate that alone.….””$531,650, a combined contribution from the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children, Inc., Arista and Bertelsmann Music Group Distribution which donated all their royalties and profits from the sale of those―went to the American Red Cross Gulf Crisis Fund, which provided aid to U.S. military personnel, their families and war victims in the region. ~~~Julia Roberts $2,000,000.00 to Aid Victims
    Jim Carey $1,000,000.00 to families of victims
    Rosie O’Donnell $1,000,000.00 to families of victims
    Sandra Bullock $1,000,000.00 to families of victims
    When she sang the National Anthem she got paid, this amout was not disclosed. Later she and Arista & Bertelsmann music group.. Donated the 531,650. WHICH wasnt all from her. What ““THEY”” did was awesome.. BUT Bob Hope did more than she had, and he didnt get the US Flag at Half Staff. BUT she wasnt/ isnt a HERO. She was solely an Artist.

  39. 1SG William Whittemo says:

    I think it’s an insult to have the flag flown half mast for a singer who had an addiction to crack cocaine and illegal drugs and that being the cause of her death. Gov. Christie is an idiot to say the least. Thank God he isn’t running as a GOP candidate. Whitney Houston was loved and was a very good singer but she didn’t contribute more than the service members or public servants who died in the line of duty. Only in NJ and only with the Clown Christie could this be allowed to happen. Pathetic.

  40. 1SG William Whittemo says:

    donte knows nothing about the history of our flag. Honoring Whitney Houston is fine but not by lowering our flag to a person who did not serve our country. The only thing she served was making her drug dealer wealthy. Pretty close to calling her a crack ***** but I dont think she was a *****. I know she would come running if you brought out that little bag of dope or a couple of rocks. She be all up in it.

  41. DAVID C. says:

    I am a veteran and I remember several ‘’exception to policy’’ situations where leadership made a tough decision if the subject wasn’t specifically written in the regulations. I say if the state constitution didn’t specify a category of whom to honor (and how to honor them), then it’s a ”grey area” for the governor to make the call. If you don’t live in that state, then why are you so offended?? Hmmm…I wonder if the same outrage would be there if this was Madonna, Dolly Parton, LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill or Shania Twain?

  42. SPC Bieber says:

    There is never a reason or a justification for the lowering of a flag for any person that remained outside of the service. Whether their service was the military, law enforcement or fire fighters. The act of placing this posthumous honor on her is a disgrace to every lost life and every wounded warrior that has dawned a uniform.

  43. Godfather says:

    MasterChief, I couldn’t agree more…It was unbelievable how much coverage they showed about her being dead. I, myself are still AD and spent the last 9 years with the Marines and lost a lot of Marines and fellow corpsman but they never get the same coverage. I would say they should have honor Whitney the way it should be for her contribution to American Music, and lowering the flag in NJ because of her death is plain wrong.

  44. Jeff says:

    Lots of crack heads die everyday, so what one of them could sing?