A sheriff in South Carolina's Pickens County has refused to lower the flag in front of his office to honor the recently departed Nelson Mandela. Rick Clark announced on Facebook on Friday his intentions to defy the order of President Barack Obama, suggesting that, while Mandela was an admirable man who accomplished great things, Mandela was not American and therefore should not have flags flown at half-mast in his honor.
Clark appears to have since deleted his original Facebook post, replacing it with a new message.
"Well the news/Facebook cycle has run its course," Clark wrote in his post on Saturday. "Time to move onto the next subject because I have work to do for my community and need to devote my time elsewhere. Thank you for your support and comments. I urge you to read about President Mandela over the next few days of mourning and be inspired for public service for your community and the nation as he was. It Pearl Harbor Day and thank a veteran today if you can."
Clark has said in interviews that he would have made the same call had he been in office when President Bush ordered the flags to be lowered in honor of Pope John Paul. [Talking Points Memo]