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Palm Beach County officials refuse order to lower flags for Limbaugh

Palm Beach County, Fla., officials will not lower courthouse flags to half-staff to commemorate the late talk radio host Rush Limbaugh despite an order by Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida newspaper blasts DeSantis's ban on COVID-19 passports: 'Makes no sense' Buttigieg hopes cruises will return by mid-summer The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - World mourns the death of Prince Philip MORE (R), The Associated Press reported.

In a statement Wednesday, County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay said on Twitter, “The lowering of flags should be a unifying gesture during solemn occasions, such as in remembrance of the young lives lost during the Parkland High School massacre or first responder line of duty deaths."

“Although Rush Limbaugh was a significant public figure, he was also an incredibly divisive one who hurt many people with his words and actions,” she added.

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The Town of Palm Beach and the state house in Tallahassee both lowered their respective flags, according to the AP. DeSantis called for flags to be lowered last week, two days after Limbaugh’s death at 70 from lung cancer.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat and a likely gubernatorial candidate, said Monday that she she would not lower flags at offices under her jurisdiction. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman (D) issued a similar statement. Neither the city nor Fried’s offices were subject to the order.

Conservatives and elected Republicans hailed Limbaugh for his influence on conservatism and the explosive growth of conservative talk radio in the 1990s. Numerous Democrats, however, invoked his history of inflammatory comments, such as comparing a teenage Chelsea Clinton to a dog and calling law student Sandra Fluke a “prostitute” after she testified in favor of insurance coverage for birth control.