After President Obama ordered flags of all public buildings to be flown at half-mast in honor of Nelson Mandela, a sheriff in South Carolina said he would not follow the president’s orders because Mandela “was not an American.”
Sheriff Rick Clark of Pickens County, South Carolina, wrote on Facebook that while South Africa’s first black president “did great things for his country and was a brave man,” he would not lower his office’s flag to honor a foreign man.
“I usually don’t post political items, but today is different,” Clark wrote on Friday. “I received this notification today, ‘As a mark of respect for the memory of Nelson Mandela, the President orders that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff effective immediately until sunset, December 9, 2013.’”
“Nelson Mandela did great things for his country and was a brave man but he was not an AMERICAN!!! The flag should be lowered at our Embassy in S. Africa, but not here,” the post read.
To avoid any confusion, Clark said the flag at the sheriff’s office was flown at half-staff Friday to mourn a deceased deputy, and will remain at half-staff Saturday to respect the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. After Saturday, he plans to order “the flag here at my office back up.”
President Obama has ordered flags at all public buildings across the country to be flown at half mast until sunset, Dec. 9.
The sheriff’s office has not yet responded to a request for comment.