Gov. Rick Snyder lowers flags in honor of former state Sen. Patricia Birkholz

Lansing, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags within the State Capitol Complex to be lowered to half-staff on Wednesday, Sept. 5, in recognition of former state Sen. Patricia Birkholz, who died Thursday, May 3, after an unexpected and rapid return of cancer.

"Patty was a great advocate for the environment and Great Lakes," Snyder said. “The work she did in office and for her community will continue to positively impact Michigan for years to come. Sue and I send our sincerest condolences to her family, friends and colleagues as they continue mourning the loss of this great Michigander.”

Birkholz served three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1997-2002 and went on to serve two terms in the Michigan Senate. Additionally, Birkholz was appointed director of the Office of the Great Lakes and Great Lakes Commission representative by Gov. Snyder and appointed to the National Sea Grant Advisory Board by former President Barack Obama.

She previously served as Saugatuck Township trustee and Allegan County treasurer before serving in the Michigan Legislature.

The Michigan Senate will hold a remembrance on Wednesday, Sept. 5, to celebrate Birkholz’s life and service to Michigan.

This flag order is in accordance with Executive Order 2013-10 [links.govdelivery.com]. Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations also are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff. Flags should be returned to full-staff on Thursday, Sept. 6.

When flown at half-staff or half-mast, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position. The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.