TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In lifestyle, the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was a divisive determine, who proudly waved the flag of conservatism and wallowed in the controversies he assisted ignite. In demise, individuals controversies follow him as partisans in his household point out of Florida discussion in excess of whether to decrease flags in his honor.
Gov. Ron DeSantis identified as Limbaugh a “legend” and purchased flags to be flown at fifty percent-staff as a exhibit of respect soon after the longtime broadcaster, 70, died Wednesday of most cancers.
But Democrats, who have very long been on the acquiring end of Limbaugh’s harangues, objected.
Nikki Fried, Florida’s agriculture commissioner and the only statewide Democratic officeholder, said Monday that she would not abide by the Republican governor’s orders. Fried is contemplating a bid for governor.
“Lowering to 50 %-staff members the flag of the United States of The united states is a sacred honor that pays regard to fallen heroes and patriots,” she mentioned in a assertion. She explained she would notify all point out officers she oversees to disregard the governor’s order.
Fried oversees about two dozen agricultural legislation enforcement inspection stations, more than three dozen condition forests and 9 regional licensing places of work — all of which fly the flags of the United States and Florida.
“My problem is that the governor is bending about backwards to honor a radio host who has continuously created racist, polarizing and conspiracy remarks,” Fried reported in an job interview Monday afternoon.
“It is truly inappropriate,” she stated of the flag reducing, “and the governor is taking part in politics with this American treasure, which is our flag.”
A calendar year in the past, President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Liberty, the nation’s optimum civilian honor, throughout his remaining Condition of the Union tackle.
The working day in advance of, Limbaugh experienced declared that he was battling highly developed lung cancer.
Limbaugh experienced for many years championed conservativism — typically stridently at the price of liberals and Democrats.
Fried was not the only elected official to bemoan the governor’s choice.
“Not lowering flags for Hurry,” the mayor of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman, tweeted on Monday. “In St. Pete we really do not honor hatred, racism, bigotry, homophobia, or anything at all else he has spewed around the many years. We are, having said that, honoring the life of Deputy Michael Magli of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office environment.”
Before in the working day, DeSantis experienced purchased flags to fly at 50 %-team to pay tribute to Magli, who died previous 7 days immediately after currently being struck by a car even though on obligation in Pinellas County, house to St. Petersburg in the state’s Tampa Bay location.
The governor’s office environment declined to elaborate on the state’s protocols for lowering flags.
Flags are ordinarily decreased to honor notable govt officials, as perfectly as legislation enforcement officers and customers of the armed forces killed in the line of obligation. On the other hand, the governor also has the authority to lower the flags to commemorate tragedies, most just lately the third anniversary of the Parkland high school shootings that took the lives of 17 students and staff associates.
DeSantis reported Limbaugh’s stature justified the honor.
“When there’s things of this magnitude, the moment the day of interment for Hurry is declared, we’re likely to be decreasing the flags to half-team,” DeSantis said at a Friday information convention in Palm Seaside County.
“Not significantly wants to be claimed,” the governor explained. “He was an absolute legend. He was a close friend of mine, and just a great human being.”
Fried stated she would not shift to punish any of her supervisors who may possibly stick to her “strong guidance” and as a substitute make a decision to comply with the governor’s get.
“If any person chooses to reduced the flag, there are no penalties,” she claimed.