A South Carolina sheriff is refusing to lower the station’s flag in honor of Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who died on Thursday at the age of 95. Rick Clark took to Facebook to announce his decision, explaining that he doesn’t normally post “political items, but today is different.”
Clark went on to explain that he received a memo ordering all state and government offices to fly the US flag at half staff until sunset on Monday, December 9. Instead, the sheriff decided not to comply, though he did praise Mandela, writing, “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 flag at the Pickens County sheriff’s office is currently at half staff to honor a deputy who died in the line of duty. Clark explained, “He deserves that honor. I ordered that the flag here at my office back up after tomorrow’s mourning of Pearl Harbor Day!”
The South Carolina sheriff’s decision was met with praise by his friends and supporters, many of whom thanked him and said they agreed with his decision. Another called him a “true hero” for his decision not to fly the flag at half staff for Mandela.