TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said Monday that she will be notifying state offices under her direction to "disregard" Gov. Ron DeSantis' impending order to lower flags across the state to half-staff in honor of Rush Limbaugh.
Citing the executive Office of the Governor’s flag protocol, Fried said that lowing the flag is "not a partisan political tool."
Fried made the announcement in the form of a statement sent Monday afternoon.
“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.”
This comes after DeSantis announced last week that he planned to have flags lowered to half-staff for Rush Limbaugh when funeral arrangements for him are announced.
According to the protocol, flags across the state are lowered primarily for federal officials including the President, Vice President, Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, Speaker of the U.S. House, members of Congress from Florida, prominent State of Florida officials, and Florida law enforcement officers, firefighters, and members of the Armed Forces from Florida who have died in the line of duty.
Fried's department, 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.