For one South Carolina sheriff, defying President Obama’s order to lower the American flag to half-staff in honor of former South African President Nelson Mandela is simple: Mandela “was not an American.”
Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark took to Facebook Friday to explain to seemingly supportive residents why he will not lower the flag at the Sheriff’s Office for Mandela, despite Obama’s Dec. 5 Presidential Proclamation:
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!
On Thursday, Obama took the rare step of ordering all American flags on government buildings lowered to half-staff until Monday, Dec. 9 in honor of the death of a foreign leader.
According to NPR, Obama did not issue the same proclamation upon the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
“In fact, the last foreign dignitary to be memorialized with the flag was Pope John Paul II in 2005,” NPR reported.
The Presidential Proclamation on the death of Nelson Mandela read, in part:
As a mark of respect for the memory of Nelson Mandela, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, December 9, 2013. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
H/T: Talking Points Memo