A South Carolina sheriff has gone public with his vow to refuse to honor President Barack Obama’s order to fly the U.S. flag at half-staff in honor of South African human rights champion Nelson Mandela.
According to NPR, the last time the order was given to honor the passing of a foreign dignitary was 2005, following the death of Pope John Paul II. The U.S. is one of seven other countries that have joined Mandela’s home, South Africa, in the gesture.
Instead, Clark wrote that he would keep the flag at half-staff thru Saturday night in recognition of both a deceased member of his department and the anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. One person commented on Clark’s post that, “I think that he did that because he and Mandela are from the same country.”
The U.S. Flag Code (PDF) does not contain penalties for non-compliance.
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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