In the wake of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, one Alabama county has refused to lower the American flag to half-staff to honor the victims. Both President Obama and Alabama Governor Robery Bentley have ordered American flags be lowered to half-staff to pay tribute to and honor the 49 slain and 50 injured in last Sunday morning’s inconceivable attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, but one county commissioner has flatly refused to do so.
Baldwin County Commissioner Tucker Dorsey has expressed condolences to the families of the dozens of victims of the Orlando terrorist attack, but said that he doesn’t think that the deaths of 49 people (most presumed to have been members of the LGBT community; Pulse is a gay club) “meet the test” of the reason behind lowering the American flag to honor lost lives, reports CNN.
Even amid a flood of growing criticism, officials refuse to lower the American flag in the Alabama county.
According to Dorsey, the American flag should only be lowered on Memorial Day and to honor and/or commemorate the deaths of “government officials.”
Not dozens of innocent American civilians gunned down in the primes of their lives.
Dorsey, Commissioner of the Alabama county, took to social media on Tuesday to defend his decision not to lower the American flag to honor the victims of the Orlando shooting. He said that Baldwin County also refused to lower their flags after the Paris terror attacks and the San Bernardino shooting in California.
Despite the excuses being made by the Alabama county officials regarding why they are not lowering the American flag as ordered to honor the victims of the worst mass shooting in American history, many people are taking to social media to share their disgust and disbelief.
On Sunday, President Obama ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff in order to honor the victims of the Pulse gay nightclub attack in Orlando. The commissioner of the Alabama county doesn’t deny having received the order to lower his county’s flags, he just doesn’t think that Obama and his state’s governor are applying their order to lower the flags correctly.
“I realize that the President and Governor may make the order, but I believe and interpret their order inconsistent with the adopted flag code.”
Baldwin County in Alabama isn’t the only county in the United States that has refused to honor the largely-LGBT victims of last Sunday’s Orlando terror attack. Earlier in the week, it was reported that a Missouri county also refused to lower its flags as ordered by President Obama.
The previous refusal by an American county to lower flags to half-staff took place in Cole County, Missouri. In that instance, the county is governed by a three-member commission, two of whom voted not to honor the Orlando dead by lowering their county’s flags. Cole County Commissioner Jeff Hoelscher, a Republican, said that he didn’t feel that lowering the American flags to honor the victims of the Orlando shooting was “appropriate.” He added that when flags are lowered “too much,” it “takes away from the honor.”
“Lowering it too much takes away from the honor. I feel for these victims and for their families, but I don’t feel this was a time for the flag to be lowered.”
An outraged public disagreed with the decision of the Cole County commissioners, and ultimately (in the face of public outcry) a decision was made to lower the American flags in the county as ordered by President Obama.
People are certainly outraged that an Alabama county is following suit and refusing to lower its American flags to half-staff to honor the dozens of victims of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, but only time will tell if Baldwin County Commissioner Tucker Dorsey will follow Cole County’s lead and give the Orlando victims the respect they deserve.
What do you think? Should state and county governments be obliged to heed a presidential order to lower their flags to honor victims of terrorism? Do you think that the Alabama county will respond to the public pressure to lower its flags to half-staff?
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