Gov. Ron DeSantis is ordering flags to fly at half-staff in honor of Gen. Colin Powell.
Powell died Monday after experiencing COVID-19 complications, ranking him among the 724,000 Americans who have perished because COVID-19 in the past 20 months. The 84 year-old, who was vaccinated, served as the nation’s first Black Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Adviser.
The order, which complies with a proclamation issued by President Joe Biden, applies to U.S. and state of Florida flags. Flags will remain at half-staff through Friday at sunset under the order.
Powell left behind an indelible reputation as a straight-shooter who considered — then rejected — a run for the presidency.
In 1989, he became the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that role, he oversaw the U.S. invasion of Panama and later the U.S. invasion of Kuwait to oust the Iraqi army in 1991.
But his reputation suffered a painful setback when, in 2003, Powell went before the U.N. Security Council and made the case for U.S. war against Iraq. He cited faulty information claiming Saddam Hussein had secretly stashed away weapons of mass destruction.
News of Powell’s death prompted an immediate response from Florida political leaders including U.S. Sen. Rick Scott and the state’s congressional delegation.
Former President George W. Bush said he and former first lady Laura Bush were “deeply saddened” by Powell’s death.
“He was a great public servant” and “widely respected at home and abroad,” Bush said. “And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend. Laura and I send Alma and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man.”
Associated Press content was used in this post.