News

South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower flag for Mandela

South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower flag for Mandela

MOURNING MANDELA: A South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower the U.S. flag out of a sign of respect for Nelson Mandela. Photo: Associated Press

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) – The U.S. flag flew high outside a sheriff’s office in South Carolina on Monday in defiance of an order from President Barack Obama to lower all flags in memory of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said he believed the lowering of the flag to half-staff was a tribute that should be reserved for U.S. citizens.

“To show a sign of respect for what Nelson Mandela’s done, I have no problem with lowering it in South Africa, in their country,” Clark told a local television station.

“But in our country, it should be the people, in my opinion, who have sacrificed for our country.”

On Friday, the sheriff’s flag flew at half-staff in honor of a South Carolina law enforcement officer who was killed in the line of duty and it remained lowered through Pearl Harbor Day on Saturday.

The flag was raised to the top of the mast on Monday, however, and the sheriff’s office said Clark would have no further comment beyond what he told a local TV reporter.

Obama ordered flags to be flown at half staff until sunset Monday.

South Carolina, in the heart of the old Deep South, has a troubled history when it comes to race relations and civil rights.

Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican and daughter of Indian Sikh immigrants, posted a tribute to Mandela on her Facebook page last Thursday.

Some commentators on the Facebook page later responded by calling Mandela everything from an “evil man” and “devout Marxist” to “a socialist goon.”

Sheriff Clark was far more respectful in the specific comments about Mandela he made on his own Facebook page.

“I urge you to read about President Mandela over the next few days of mourning and be inspired for public service for your community and the nation as he was,” Clark wrote.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Extra Police Patrols for Labor Day Weekend

Fresh
9-3-15 KEEP DRIVING SOBER

"Drive Sober, or Get Pulled Over."

in Local

Sangamon Co. Clerk Disputes Voter Roll Study

sangamon_county_building_2

Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray says don't believe what you read when it comes to alleged analysis of the county's voter rolls by the Public Interest Legal Foundation.

in Local

CWLP Bond Rating Analyzed

Updated
cwlp

City Water Light and Power says Moody's Investors Service is keeping the electric utility bond rating at A3.

in Local

Durbin: Enough Votes Supporting Iran Nuclear Deal

IRAN VOTE

Democrats in the U.S. Senate have enough votes to uphold a preserve the Iran nuclear deal, but U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is aiming for a higher goal.

in Local

Video Recovered That Could Help Manhunt

FOX LAKE AP

Authorities believe they've recovered video that will help the investigation into who killed a Fox Lake police officer.