Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried issued a press release on Monday stating that she will direct offices within her purview not to lower flags to half-staff in honor of the recently deceased conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh.
The announcement from the Democrat comes after Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had previously indicated that flags would be lowered to half-staff to honor the late conservative icon.
“What we do when there’s things of this magnitude, once the date of internment for Rush is announced, we’re going to be lowering the flags to half-staff,” DeSantis said last week in West Palm Beach.
But Fried says that she will direct offices within her purview to ignore any such order from the Sunshine State governor.
“Lowering to half-staff the flag of the United States of America is a sacred honor that pays respect to fallen heroes and patriots. It is not a partisan political tool,” Fried said in a statement. “Therefore, I will notify all state offices under my direction to disregard the Governor’s forthcoming order to lower flags for Mr. Limbaugh – because 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.”