Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sheriff refuses to fly flag half-staff for Mandela

A South Carolina sheriff is refusing to lower the American flag in tribute to Nelson Mandela, saying the honor should be reserved for American citizens. 
President Barack Obama ordered flags lowered to half-staff for the international icon until sunset Monday. 
But Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark says not in his department. 
"It's just my simple opinion that the flag should only be lowered to half-staff for Americans who sacrificed for their country," Clark told CNN affiliate WHNS. 
It should be lowered at the U.S. Embassy in South Africa, he said, but not at home.
The flag in his department was lowered over the weekend to honor a fallen law enforcement officer and for Pearl Harbor Day. But it will stay up Sunday, he said. 
"I have no problem lowering it in South Africa in their country but not for our country. It should be the people who have sacrificed for our country." 
A spokesman for the department said the sheriff cannot be disciplined. 
"He's not breaking a law. It's his decision. And I support the decision of the sheriff," Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said.
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