Florida’s agriculture commissioner says she won’t lower flags in honor of Rush Limbaugh

Florida’s agriculture commissioner says she won’t lower flags in honor of Rush Limbaugh
First Lady Melania Trump presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh as his wife Kathryn watches during the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WMBF/AP) – Florida’s agriculture commissioner said she will not lower flags to half-staff in honor of Rush Limbaugh, despite the state’s governor previously saying the tribute will be made for the late conservative talk radio host.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced Monday she will issue direction to state offices under her purview in response to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ intent that flags be lowered to half-staff to recognize Limbaugh.

In a press release, Fried issued the following statement:

“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.”

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services oversees numerous state offices and facilities, including nine regional licensing offices, 38 state forests, and 23 agricultural law enforcement inspection stations, according to a press release. Fried is an independently-elected member of the Florida Cabinet

Republican Gov. DeSantis announced on Friday he would order flags in Florida to be flown at half-staff when Limbaugh’s body is laid to rest.

Limbaugh, a Florida resident, Feb. 17 after battling lung cancer. DeSantis called him a friend.

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