Story at a glance

  • Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh died last week at the age of 70.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) ordered flags to be flown at half-staff to honor Limbaugh.
  • The most senior Democrat in public office in Florida said she will not comply with the order.

A Florida official has instructed her staff not to comply with Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) order that flags be flown at half-staff to honor the late conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh. 

“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,” Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat, said in a statement Monday. 


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“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,” Fried said. 

Fried’s direction only applies to state facilities under her authority, which includes dozens of regional offices and agricultural inspection stations. 

Limbaugh, who lived in Florida, died on Wednesday at the age of 70 from lung cancer. 

Days after his death, DeSantis announced flags in the state would be flown at half-staff to honor and remember Limbaugh. 

“Once the date of interment for Rush is announced, we’re going to be lowering the flags to half-staff,” DeSantis said last week. 

According to Florida’s state protocol, flags should be flown at half-staff primarily for federal officials, members of Congress, prominent state officials, law enforcement officers, firefighters and members of the Armed Forces from Florida. 

While prominent conservatives praised Limbaugh’s decades-long career following his death, critics of the longtime conservative radio host pointed out some of his most controversial moments, including when he once told a Black caller to “take that bone out of your nose and call me back,” and an instance when he mocked Chelsea Clinton when she was a teenager and compared her to a dog.


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Published on Feb 23, 2021