Florida’s Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said she will defy the governor’s order and will not lower flags at state offices under her direction in honor of Rush Limbaugh.
“Lowering to half-staff the flag of the United States of America is a sacred honor for fallen heroes — not a partisan political tool,” she tweeted Monday.
“Therefore, I will notify all state offices under my direction to disregard @GovRonDeSantis’ forthcoming order to lower flags for Rush Limbaugh.”
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis had ordered flags to be lowered in honor of Limbaugh once funeral arrangements were made.
“I know they’re still figuring out the arrangements but what we do when there’s things of this magnitude, once the date of interment for Rush is announced, we’re going to be lowering the flags to half-staff,” the governor said Friday, according to WKMG-TV.
Kathryn Limbaugh announced on Monday that a virtual memorial service will be held for her husband at a later date.
“We will not celebrate hate speech, bigotry, and division. Lowering the flag should always reflect unity, not division, and raising our standards, not lowering them,” Fried tweeted in response.
“Our flags will remain flying high to celebrate the American values of diversity, inclusion, and respect for all.”
We will not celebrate hate speech, bigotry, and division. Lowering the flag should always reflect unity, not division, and raising our standards, not lowering them.
Our flags will remain flying high to celebrate the American values of diversity, inclusion, and respect for all.
— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) February 22, 2021
“Fried’s agency — the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services — oversees numerous state offices, including nine regional licensing offices, 38 state forests and 23 agricultural law enforcement inspection stations,” the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
Fried had complained about the order when it was first announced on Friday in a since-deleted tweet, criticizing the governor for not honoring the late Congressman John Lewis in a similar way.
Limbaugh was a Florida resident who DeSantis described as the “GOAT — of radio, of conservative media and of inspiring a loyal army of American patriots.”
“Through hard work, the will to succeed and, yes, talent on loan from God, Rush became the most dominant radio personality in Amerian history,” DeSantis said in a statement following news of Limbaugh’s death.
“Rush attracted millions of listeners and paved the way for the proliferation of conservative media.”
Limbaugh had played a consequential role in conservative politics since his radio show began in 1988.
Former President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
The “Rush Limbaugh Show” itself has earned a variety of awards and honors, helping earn Limbaugh a place in the Radio Hall of Fame and National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, according to KSTU-TV.
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