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Flap over DeSantis’ order to lower flags today in honor the late Rush Limbaugh

Rush flags
Courtesy: Karen Curtis

UPDATE: Governor Ron DeSantis is ordering that flags be lowered to half staff Wednesday, February 24th, in three locations to honor the life of the late Rush Limbaugh.
It directs that flags be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset at the Palm Beach County courthouse in West Palm Beach, at the Town Hall on Palm Beach and the Florida Capitol building in Tallahassee.
West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James says the city would not be lowering the flags.

During a news conference in West Palm Beach last week, DeSantis announced that he intended to have flags in Florida lowered once funeral arrangements for Limbaugh had been made.
Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay announced Tuesday night on Twitter that the county courthouse wouldn’t be lowering its flag.


“Although Rush Limbaugh was a significant public figure, he was also an incredibly divisive one who hurt many people with his words and actions,” she said. “I cannot and will not support the lowering of flags in his memory.”

Below is the governor’s directive to lower the flags:

On Wednesday, February 17, 2021, Rush Limbaugh, Florida resident and America’s anchorman, passed away after battling lung cancer. In 1988, he began “The Rush Limbaugh Show” that soon became one of the most prominent media platforms. Limbaugh was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on February 4, 2020 by President Donald J. Trump. He holds recognition in both the National Radio Hall of Fame and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

To honor the memory of Rush Limbaugh and his service to our nation and state, I hereby direct the flags of the United States and the State of Florida to be flown at half-staff at the Palm Beach County courthouse in West Palm Beach, Florida, the City Hall of Palm Beach, Florida, and the state Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida, from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Does the Governor have the legal power to order flags at half staff for Rush Limbaugh?

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued the half-staff order to take place after Rush’s funeral but and at least one South Florida official is pushing back.
The mayor of a Broward County city claims the governor’s intent to lower the flags for conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh violates Florida protocol and is calling on other state leaders to publicly renounce the decision.

In addition, the only democrat to win a statewide race in the 2018 election is defying the order. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says she’s notifying all state offices under her direction to disregard Governor Ron DeSantis’ directive to lower flags to have staff in honor of Rush Limbaugh when he’s laid to rest.

Barry University political science professor Dr. Sean Foreman says this is likely a political statement.

Fried also plans to run against DeSantis for governor.

Well, according to the law, Section 256.015 of the Florida statutes states that the governor “shall adopt a protocol on flag display” that provides guidelines for lowering the flag to half-staff “upon the death of high-ranking state officials, uniformed law enforcement and fire service personnel, and prominent citizens.” So he can.

Meanwhile, the US surpassed 500,000 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday, so President Joe Biden has directed that the US flag be flown at half-staff through sundown Friday.