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S.C. sheriff refuses to lower flag for Mandela

9:24 AM, Dec 7, 2013   |    comments
People gather and leave tributes at the Nelson Mandela statue in Parliament Square on December 7, 2013 in London, England. Mandela, also known as Madiba, passed away on the evening of December 5th, 2013 at his home in Houghton at the age of 95. Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after spending 27 years in jail for his activism against apartheid in a racially-divided South Africa. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)
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In South Carolina, the American flag that flies over the Pickens County Sheriff's Office will be raised high over the weekend despite an order by President Obama that flags be lowered to half-staff to honor the death of iconic South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Sheriff Rick Clark told GreenvilleOnline.com that he is ordering the flag be raised on Sunday because the honor of lowering flags to half-staff should be reserved for Americans.

"The flag at half-staff is for Americans' ultimate sacrifice for our country," Clark said. "We should never stray away from that."

The flag is currently flying at half-staff in honor of a law enforcement officer who was killed and will remain at half-staff tomorrow in honor of Pearl Harbor Day, Clark said.

But on Sunday the flag will be raised, Clark said.

On Thursday, Obama ordered that flags be flown at half-staff until sunset Monday.

The federal flag code "does not prescribe any penalties for non-compliance nor does it include enforcement provisions" and "functions simply as a guide to be voluntarily followed by civilians and civilian groups," according to a U.S. congressional memo.

USA Today

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