TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says she will disregard Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order to lower Florida flags at half-staff in honor of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh who died last week.
“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. 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.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that he will order flags in Florida to be flown at half-staff when Limbaugh’s body is laid to rest.
“There’s not much that needs to be said, the guy was an absolute legend,” DeSantis said. “He was a friend of mine and just a great person.”
Limbaugh lived in Florida. He died Wednesday following a battle with lung cancer.
Fried’s office oversees a number of state facilities, including nine regional licensing offices, 38 state forests, and 23 agricultural law enforcement inspection stations.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman announced the city will not follow Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order to lower Florida flags at half-staff in honor of Limbaugh.
In a tweet Mayor Kirseman said:
“Not lowering flags for Rush. In St. Pete we don’t honor hatred, racism, bigotry, homophobia, or anything else he has spewed over the years. We are, however, honoring the life of Deputy Michael Magli of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.”