Katie Pavlich

Usually lowing flags to half-staff is reserved for tragic events and the deaths of military heroes or law enforcement officers. In New Jersey, they do things differently. Yesterday, Governor Chris Christie ordered flags in the state to be flown at half-staff for Whitney Houston, a celebrity who died of a self inflicted drug overdose. He received a good amount of push back and criticism from military families for the move, but stands by the decision.

Gov. Chris Christie has strongly defended his decision to have flags flown at half-staff Saturday for Whitney Houston despite receiving emails and other messages disparaging the singer and criticizing him.

The Republican governor said Wednesday that he rejects complaints that Houston “forfeited the good things that she did” because of her struggles with substance abuse.

“What I would say to everybody is there but for the grace of God go I,” he said.

Christie ordered flags flown at half-staff at state government buildings Saturday, the day funeral services are held for Houston at the Newark church she sang at as a child.

Twitter was abuzz Wednesday with reaction to the decision by Christie, whose home is in Mendham, a wealthy town where Houston also had lived.

In online postings, there were two main arguments against the honor for the Grammy Award winner who died over the weekend in California at age 48: One was that it should be reserved for members of the military, first responders and elected officials. The other was that it’s wrong to honor a drug addict.


Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her new book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, will be published on July 8, 2014.

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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography