Skip to main content

Governor Whitmer Lowers Flags to Honor Former U.S. Representatives Barbara-Rose Collins, Paul Mitchell


November 12, 2021 


Governor Whitmer Lowers Flags to Honor Former U.S. Representatives Barbara-Rose Collins, Paul Mitchell 

LANSING, Mich.-- Governor Whitmer has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff within the State Capitol Complex on Saturday, November 13 to honor the life and service of former U.S. Representative Barbara-Rose Collins, coinciding with her funeral. The governor has also ordered U.S. and Michigan flags within the State Capitol Complex to remain lowered at half-staff on Sunday, November 14 to honor the life and service of former U.S. Representative Paul Mitchell, coinciding with his birthday. 

"Our state mourns the passing of Congresswoman Barbara-Rose Collins," said Governor Whitmer. "A beloved Detroiter, Barbara dedicated herself to the needs of her community. During her time in Congress, she was a change maker who fought endlessly for strong communities, good jobs, and civil rights protections for our state. My heart goes out to her friends and family as they mourn this tremendous loss."  

Former U.S. Representative Barbara-Rose Collins was born April 13, 1939 in Detroit. A lifelong public servant, she served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1997 as the first Black woman to be elected to Congress from Michigan. Collins served twice on the Detroit City Council, first from 1982 until her election to Congress, then again from 2001 to 2009. She also served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1975 to 1981. Collins passed away on November 4, 2021 at the age of 82 years old. 

Flags will remain lowered on Sunday to honor former U.S. Representative Paul Mitchell.  

"Congressman Paul Mitchell was a principled leader who led with his values and always spoke out for what he felt was right," said Governor Whitmer. "His service to our state and commitment to putting people first will not be forgotten. My thoughts are with Paul's loved ones during this difficult time."   

Former U.S. Representative Paul Mitchell was born on November 14, 1956 in Boston, Massachusetts. He led a successful career in the private sector before serving Michigan's 10th congressional district from 2017 to 2021. Mitchell passed away on August 15, 2021 at the age of 64.  

The State of Michigan recognizes the leadership, determination, and dedication of former U.S. Representatives Collins and Mitchell by lowering flags to half-staff. Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations also are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff.    

To lower flags to half-staff, flags should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The process is reversed before the flag is lowered for the day. 

Flags should be returned to full staff on Monday, November 15 unless otherwise notified.