Friday, December 06, 2013

S.C. Sheriff Refuses Executive Order to Fly Flag at Half-Staff

Crossposted on Dkos

From Pickens County, SC sheriff Rick Clark's Facebook post:

I usually don't post political items, but today is different. I received this notification today, "As a mark of respect for the memory of Nelson Mandela, the President orders that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff effective immediately until sunset, December 9, 2013.

Nelson Mandela did great things for his country and was a brave man but he was not an AMERICAN!!! The flag should be lowered at our Embassy in S. Africa, but not here. Our flag is at half staff today for a Deputy in the low country who died going to help his fellow Deputy. He deserves the honor. I have ordered that the flag here at my office back up after tomorrow's mourning of Pearl Harbor Day!

First off... classy. You claim you don't ever post about politics but Obama's decision to honor an African who fought oppression was so egregious in your mind you had to speak out? Really? That crossed the line for you?

Second. You are completely ignorant of the flag code. (I probably could have ended that sentence after the word "ignorant".) If you bothered to read it before you posted, you would see the president has the authority to direct the flag be flown at half-staff for the death of foreign dignitaries. Up until today, it has never been contested.

Third. Its not like this is unprecedented. In 1981, President Reagan ordered the flag be flown at half-staff for Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt and a Muslim! (gasp) Clinton did the same to honor Yitzhak Rabin, prime minister of Israel in 1995 after his unfortunate assassination. He did so again in 1999 for King Hussein of Jordan. W gave the order for Pope John Paul II.

Unlike all of these other leaders, Nelson had a tremendous impact on American activism, politics, and pop culture. He deserves our flag to be at half-staff.

Right now, national flags are flying at half-staff all around the world. I would also note that these foreign nations did the same for us on 9/11.

But this isn't about Mandela. This also isn't about standing up for your right to..... seriously, what is it exactly you are standing up for? Your right to fuck up the flag code? To be a dickwad?

This isn't even about Obama. No, what this guy clearly wants is to seek higher office: and nothing salivates an uneducated teabagger than a bigoted slap in the face of the president. This guy is already a hero in wingnut circles who enjoy calling Nelson Mandela, a guy who helped bring a peaceful end to apartheid, a "terrorist". This from the very people who call for the violent overthrow of our government because a black man is trying to give them healthcare.

Thank you Rick. For a moment, I was worried about you challenging that southern, redneck sheriff stereotype....

(And well played, SC. Your move Florida....)

Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 11:37 AM PT: The post appeared on his facebook page but I'd let him know what an insult this is on the Pickens Co Sheriff's FB Page or leave feedback on his website.


  1. Mostly a good piece, but going into cussing rant mode has no true purpose. I'm hoping you replied directly to the man's post as well. (And of course it's about the president.)

  2. "Woah. What a dick!" -Tom Spiccoli

  3. True, his "reason" for not flying the flag was incorrect. Your research is spot on. Not valid in my book. Now, if he refused because of Mandela's stance against the US, and communist beliefs, that may be a valid reason to challenge the directive. But not a reason to ignore the order. Mandela was heroic in his stance against institutional racism, but, with his wife, use barbaric methods to gain power after his release. He aligned himself with suspect and evil people. Castro, Gaddafi... his tolerance of black racism against whites both in his country and in Rhodesia made him a racist no better than the white apphartide group he replace. Now, that is something to consider when flying a flag at half mast. BTW... where was the flag flying concerns when Margaret Thatcher died and no order was given to honor her? Love the double standards.

  4. Yet more proof of how much an ass-hole people can be-particularly a S.C. sheriff.