Rick Clark, the sheriff of Pickens County, S.C., vowed on Friday to defy President Obama's order that U.S. flags be lowered to half staff in honor of deceased South African leader Nelson Mandela.
Clark made his promise in a Facebook post to keep flying the flag at the Pickens County Sheriff's Office at full height.
"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,'" Clark wrote. "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."
Hey meatball, pay attention. You might learn something.
In the early days of our country, no regulations existed for flying the flag at half-staff
and, as a result, there were many conflicting policies. But on March 1, 1954, President
Dwight Eisenhower issued a proclamation on the proper times.
Ike set out 30 days for President or former President, 10 days for a veep, Chief Justice or Speaker of the House, and from day of death until day of internment for other justices, other Congressional leaders and Cabinet officials. Senators, House Representatives, and Governors are honored by their own states, and then there's this:
The president may order the flag to be flown at half-staff to mark the death of other
officials, former officials, or foreign dignitaries. In addition to these occasions, the
president may order half-staff display of the flag after other tragic events.
So Sheriff Clark, get your head out of your ass. The precedent for honoring a foreign dignitary like Mandela has stood for nearly 60 years. There's no penalty for non-compliance, of course. It just makes you, your county, and your state look like petty little assholes.
So congrats on that.