A report that the US flag on the White House was hoisted at half-staff in honour of former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam, which is gaining quite some traction on social media, should not be taken seriously -- it's a hoax.
Popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and even Whatsapp have been flooded with claims that US President Barack Obama ordered the US flag on White House to be hoisted at half-staff.
Several images showing the US flag at half-staff with a caption "First Time in World History U.S White House Flag was Half Down on behalf of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam Sir.." are doing the rounds on social media.
While there is no clarity as to who started the viral hoax, the false claim has taken the social media by storm and the message is being shared widely on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp.
It is true is that recently President Obama asked the US flag to be hoisted at half-staff, not only at the White House but at all federal buildings, including overseas embassies. But the the flag was lowered to honour the soldiers killed in a shooting rampage at Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to the Washington Post.
Obama had even released an official circular on 21 July announcing that the flag will fly at half-staff till 25 July evening.
Obama, however, did issue a condolence message on the death of Abdul Kalam: "On behalf of the American people, I wish to extend my deepest condolences to the people of India on the passing of former Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
"A scientist and statesman, Dr. Kalam rose from humble beginnings to become one of India's most accomplished leaders, earning esteem at home and abroad. An advocate for stronger U.S.-India relations, Dr. Kalam worked to deepen our space cooperation, forging links with NASA during a 1962 visit to the United States. His tenure as India's 11th president witnessed unprecedented growth in U.S.-India ties, the White House statement stated.
Former President Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam passed away in Shillong on Monday evening (27 July).
Popularly known as the Missile Man of India, Kalam was largely seen as a people's President as he would interact with citizens closely.
Kalam served as the country's 11th President from 2002 to 2007.
HariHaran @hariharan14305 26m26 minutes ago
First Time in World History U.S White House Flag was Half Down on behalf of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam Sir. Proud To Be An Indian (Tamilan).....
Prashant Kawadia EF @prashantkawadia
@SrBachchan First Time in World History U.S White House Flag was Half Down on behalf of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam Sir. Proud To Be An Indian
Mahesh Shankar @MaheshShankarS
If I see one more person claiming that the White House is flying the US flag at half mast for Kalam, I'm gonna go all half mast on yo asses!
— mozib khan (@twites_on) July 29, 2015