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Pickens County, S.C. sheriff refuses to lower flag to honor Mandela

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The American flag that flies over the Pickens County, S.C., sheriff’s office will not be lowered to honor the late South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Openly defying an order from President Obama that American flags at all government buildings be lowered to half-staff until sunset on Monday, Sheriff Rick Clark believes that honor should be reserved for Americans who have paid the ultimate price.

In a quote to Sheriff Clark stated:

"The flag at half-staff is for Americans' ultimate sacrifice for our country. We should never stray away from that."

The Stars and Stripes at the Pickens County sheriff’s department is already flying at “half” to honor a law-enforcement officer who was killed and will remain at “half” Saturday to honor those who lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Sunday, the flag will be fully raised in accordance with the federal flag code.

There is no penalty for non-compliance with the President’s order.

South Carolina has a bit of a “history” when it comes to flags. Up until 2000, the Stars and Bars flew prominently over the South Carolina Statehouse. Protests and negotiations finally relocated the flag from atop the capitol to a nearby Civil War memorial.

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