Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat, says she will not follow a directive by Gov. Ron DeSantis to fly flags at half-staff in remembrance of the late radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Fried said she won’t lower any flags at state offices under her direction, according to a statement on her department’s website.

“Lowering to half-staff the flag of the United States of America is a sacred honor that pays respect to fallen heroes and patriots. It is not a partisan political tool,” she said in a statement.

“Therefore, I will notify all state offices under my direction to disregard the governor’s forthcoming order to lower flags for Mr. Limbaugh – because we will not celebrate hate speech, bigotry, and division. 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.”

DeSantis had announced on Friday that he will order all flags to be flown at half-staff in the state in tribute to the late conservative icon. Limbaugh was a resident of Palm Beach.

He died Wednesday of lung cancer, a year after announcing his diagnosis with the disease.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel noted Fried is viewed as a potential challenger to DeSantis in 2022.


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