Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed a Palm Beach County bureaucrat as “petty” for refusing to comply with his order to lower courthouse flags to half-staff to honor the late conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh died last week at age 70 following a yearlong battle with advanced lung cancer.
DeSantis issued a statement calling him “America’s anchorman” and the “GOAT of radio, of conservative media and of inspiring a loyal army of American patriots.”
He sought to honor Limbaugh by ordering the courthouse of Palm Beach County — where the radio legend lived for 25 years until his death — to fly its U.S. and Florida flags at half-mast on Wednesday.
DeSantis also ordered the town of Palm Beach and the state Capitol in Tallahassee to lower their flags from sunrise until sunset on Wednesday. Both locations complied.
Rush. R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/ztP6JylfmO
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 24, 2021
However, the flags at the Palm Beach County courthouse remained at full staff in defiance of DeSantis’ order.
Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay — a failed Democratic congressional candidate — explained her refusal by saying Limbaugh did not deserve the honor because he was an “incredibly divisive” figure.
“Although Rush Limbaugh was a significant public figure, he was also an incredibly divisive one who hurt many people with his words and actions,” she said in a statement on Twitter.
— Melissa McKinlay (@VoteMcKinlay) February 24, 2021
DeSantis responded by rebuking McKinlay for engaging in “petty politics” rather than recognizing a prominent local resident who had revolutionized the radio industry.
“It is unfortunate that Palm Beach County would rather engage in petty politics than honor the death of one of their county’s and state’s most prominent residents and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient,” the governor said in a statement, according to The Associated Press.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat, also defied the governor’s order.
“I will not lower the flags at my Department’s state offices for Rush Limbaugh. Lowering our flag should reflect unity, not division — and raising our standards, not lowering them,” she tweeted.
I will not lower the flags at my Department’s state offices for Rush Limbaugh. Lowering our flag should reflect unity, not division — and raising our standards, not lowering them. https://t.co/HqtzeoUHkr
— Nikki Fried (@nikkifried) February 22, 2021
As usual, Democrats resorted to petty vindictiveness rather than making even the tiniest gesture of goodwill and unity.
Regardless of your personal feelings for Limbaugh, there is no denying the monumental impact he made on talk radio and on American politics. That alone warrants recognition.
The fact that the town of Palm Beach and the Capitol in Tallahassee lowered their flags while the Palm Beach County Courthouse refused underscores just how childish McKinlay is.
In his final years, the senator was elevated as a left-wing hero because of his eagerness to trash Trump, even though the left had smeared McCain as a “racist” during his 2008 presidential campaign because he was the Republican nominee.
There were undoubtedly numerous Americans (including Trump) who did not want flags lowered to honor the polarizing McCain. But they did it anyway.
This week, many liberals screeched that flags should not be flown at half-mast because Limbaugh was a civilian and not a government official.
However, following George Floyd’s May 2020 death in Minneapolis police custody, numerous states — including Oregon, North Carolina and New Mexico — lowered their flags to honor him.
.@NC_Governor Cooper today ordered all NC flags at state facilities to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on June 6, 2020 in honor of Mr. George Floyd, a native North Carolinian killed while in police custody in Minnesota. Read more here: https://t.co/9vlxkoHAdV pic.twitter.com/OFSO530dir
— NCDOA (@NCDOA) June 5, 2020
Floyd’s death re-ignited the race-hustling, anti-police, violent Black Lives Matter movement.
If a bunch of states can lower their flags to honor a man with an extensive rap sheet whose claim to fame was that he died in police custody, then the Palm Beach County Courthouse should’ve done the same for a longtime resident who was beloved by many in his community.
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