Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a probable Democratic front-runner in the upcoming 2022 gubernatorial race, says she will ignore Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order to lower flags to half-staff in honor of Rush Limbaugh, a dead racist, sexist, homophobic, hate-mongering conservative radio host.
“Lowering to half-staff the flag of the United States of America is a sacred honor that pays respect to fallen heroes and patriots,” said Fried in a statement released Monday. “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.”
The radio host and Florida resident died last Wednesday after a battle with lung cancer, and last Friday, DeSantis ordered the flags to be lowered after calling Limbaugh “an absolute legend.”
“Rush busted through a media landscape in which a handful of media outlets served up pre-cooked liberal narratives,” the Governor said earlier last week. “By providing a fresh, conservative perspective, Rush attracted millions of listeners and paved the way for the proliferation of conservative media.”
As Politico reporter Gary Fineout pointed out, DeSantis has ordered the lowering of flags a total of 57 times since he’s been in office, most of which were to “honor deceased public officials as well as remembrances for 9/11, Pearl Harbor and other tragic events.”
Fried’s decision to not lower the flags for a guy who made a 30-year career out of divisive takes like the Obama birther conspiracy theory and calling Chelsea Clinton a dog will impact nine regional licensing offices, 38 state forests, and 23 agricultural inspection stations.
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