President Obama Flag Rumor: Shirley Temple Black, Whitney Houston Comparison Not Real

February 14, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

A viral post going around is saying President Barack Obama ordered flags to be flown half-staff after Whitney Houston died two years ago, but he didn’t make the same decision for Shirley Temple Black after she died earlier this week.

Flags were actually flown half-staff for Houston after she died in 2012, but that was at the behest of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and was not Obama’s choice, NJ.com reported at the time.

Obama did not comment on Temple’s death. Temple, a child star turned diplomat, was a Republican.

The president had received some criticism over the matter.

A graphic that’s going around claims “Whitney Houston democrat ,,, ODs on cocaine, Obama orders flags lowered,” and regarding Temple, “Shirley Temple Black Republican US Ambassador ,,, died on 2/10/2014, Obama ignores her.”

In 2012, Christie, a Republican, told NJ.com that it was justified to fly flags half-staff for Houston after she died. “She was a cultural icon in this state and her accomplishments in her life were a source of great pride for many people in this state and for this state as a whole. On that basis, I think she’s entitled to have that recognition made for her,” he said at the time.

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