The mayor of a Broward County city claims the governor's intent to lower the flags for conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh violates Florida protocol and is calling on other state leaders to publicly renounce the decision.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday during an appearance in West Palm Beach that, once funeral arrangements for Limbaugh have been finalized, the state is "going to be lowering the flags to half-staff."
The 70-year-old Palm Beach resident died Wednesday of complications from lung cancer.
While the distinction is typically reserved for government figures and first responders who have been killed in the line of duty, Section 256.015 of the Florida statutes states that the governor "shall adopt a protocol on flag display" that provides guidelines for lowering the flag to half-staff "upon the death of high-ranking state officials, uniformed law enforcement and fire service personnel, and prominent citizens."
However, the mayor of a Fort Lauderdale suburb has gone so far as to call the move a violation of the state's flag protocol.
"By compelling Florida cities to honor the man who made a career of sowing political division through bigoted and racist statements, Gov. DeSantis is turning our flag into a decoration for his own political theater," Oakland Park Mayor Jane F. Bolin said in a statement Sunday. "I call on all mayors, commissioners and city managers in Florida and nationwide to step forward and make their voices heard. Failure to take a stand on this issue is tantamount to being complicit in politicizing and even demeaning the dignity of our flag."
Bolin told WPTV she is speaking with her city attorney to determine the legality of such an order.