Official refuses to lower flags to half-mast in honor of Orlando massacre

Flags are seen flying at half mast honoring the victims of the Orlando massacre at New York's City Hall in Manhattan, U.S., June 13, 2016. (Reuters)

A US official in an Alabama County refused to lower flags to half-mast this week in a show of solidarity with the victims of the recent Orlando mass shooting.

According to US news reports, an official in Baldwin County “has deliberately chosen” not to lower official flags, though flags across the United States are flown at half-mast since Thursday to honor the attack victims.

The Baldwin County Commission’s chairman, Tucker Dorsey, wrote a Facebook post saying: "my soul aches for the families of the innocents killed," but insisted that the shooting incident was not a "valid circumstance" for lowering the flags.

“Lowering the flags to half-staff after mass shooting or terrorist event is not a valid circumstance or memorial as specified in the US flag code (usflag.org), Section 175, paragraph (m). I realize that the President and Governor may make the order, but I believe and interpret their order inconsistent with the adopted flag code.”

Dorsey said lowering the flag to him felt like the state was holding its head down.

“I characterize that as US citizens holding our head up with courage above all others. When the flag is at half-staff, our country’s head is figuratively held low, and quite frankly, I am not willing to hang my head down because of a terrorist attack against our people and our allies.”

 

The move came despite an order from US President Barack Obama and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley for flags to be lowered.

The Orlando attack, the worst mass shooting in modern US history, left 50 people dead.

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
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