Florida’s Governor fulfilled a vow to lower flags for fallen radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday.
According to a memorandum released by Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ office Tuesday evening, flags will be flown at half-staff at the Palm Beach County Courthouse, Palm Beach City Hall, and the State Capitol from sunrise to sunset Wednesday.
However, locals resisted the order, so at this writing, only the flag at the Florida Capitol is lowered.
The memorandum describes Limbaugh as a “Florida resident and America’s anchorman,” lionizing his eponymous Rush Limbaugh Show and noting his recognition as a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner in 2020.
DeSantis told a crowd of supporters Friday in Palm Beach that he intended to honor Limbaugh in this way, a move unsurprising to those who had heard the Governor convincingly laud the conservative icon as a supporter and a friend.
“He had me on when I was running for Governor,” DeSantis said last week on a cable news hit. “I was getting the tar kicked out of me every day and he had me on the week before the election in 2018. He didn’t have a lot of guests. I was honored to be on his show a couple of times.”
DeSantis noted in another appearance that Limbaugh likely would have been iconic even if he had not embraced conservative rhetoric and market penetration techniques.
“He would have been great in radio even without the conservative thing. He’s just that talented. Obviously he was a conservative icon up there with [Antonin] Scalia, [Ronald] Reagan, and [William F.] Buckley,” DeSantis said, invoking the conservative trinity of the former Supreme Court Justice, the Republican President of the 1980s, and the father of the postwar conservative movement.
The Governor’s modified order to lower flags came in the wake of resistance to the concept by key Democrats, including a potential 2022 opponent.
Nikki Fried, a Democrat who serves as Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, announced Monday she would not comply.
“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,” Fried vowed.
Meanwhile, other leading Democrats in the state said no also.
“Not lowering flags for Rush. In St. Pete we don’t honor hatred, racism, bigotry, homophobia, or anything else he has spewed over the years,” tweeted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman Monday.
In the end, the Governor sidestepped them with an order that fell far short of what some might have expected last week.
Rush. R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/ztP6JylfmO
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 24, 2021