When I first heard about it, my first thought was come on, really?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ordered all flags at state government buildings and offices to be flown at half-staff Monday in honor of actor James Gandolfini who of course died suddenly last week of a heart attack at the age of 51.
Now Gandolfini, who played the famous Tony Soprano crime boss on cable television, was a good actor and a memorable one, but is it really necessary for government flags to be flown at half-staff for him?
That’s an honor that is usually reserved for military heroes who have fallen battle, or first
responders who have died while on duty, or sometimes victims of a terrible crime or terrorist attack.
But for an actor. Even a famous one?
Governor Christie said he issued the order because Gandolfini, who was born in New Jersey and whose TV series was based in New Jersey, was an actor who had what Christie called a
timeless impact on television and film.
But so have a lot of actors who have died. And they don’t have official state flags flown at half staff. Maybe the standard for such honor should be higher.