Pickens County, S.C. Sheriff Rick Clark is refusing to honor civil rights icon Nelson Mandela because Mandela is not an American.
President Obama ordered U.S. flags on government properties to be flown at half-staff today until Monday night for the South African leader, who died yesterday at the age of 95.
According to TalkingPointsMemo.com, Sheriff Clark posted the following rant on his Facebook page:
I usually don't post political items, but today is different. I received this notification today, "As a mark of respect for the memory of Nelson Mandela, the President orders that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff effective immediately until sunset, December 9, 2013"
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. Our flag is at half staff today for a Deputy in the low country who died going to help his fellow Deputy. He deserves the honor. I have ordered that the flag here at my office back up after tomorrow's mourning of Pearl Harbor Day!
However, American flags were also flown at half-staff for non-American Pope John Paul II in 2005, notes NPR. Sheriff Clark made no mention or outrage for that tribute.
Many commenters on Sheriff Clark's Facebook page supported his refusal to honor Mandela:
Great call Rick thats why we voted for you!
So thankful for the stand you are taking!!
Very impressive Sheriff! G;ad to know that there are still people who understand the true meaning of the law and refuses to just blindly do as 'told to do'!
Way to go Sheriff you are so correct.
Glad to see the right thing done in our county. RICK we appreciate the job you and your people are doing and pray for all of them every day.
Thank you Sheriff. You are a true Hero.
Thank you for the position you have taken on this issue, GOD Bless America!!!!!
I agree with you sheriff. We appreciate you knowing right from wrong. Thanks for the great job that you and your staff are doing and for having good Christian morals. God Bless You.
Amen rick good response to Hendrix post it dont matter how right you are there will always be critics.