By Patricia L Johnson
President Obama issued a proclamation regarding the death of Nelson Mandela on December 5, 2013 which read in part as follows:
“As a mark of respect for the memory of Nelson Mandela, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, December 9, 2013. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.”
Upon reading the order written by the President of the United States regarding flying the U.S. flag at half-staff Sheriff Rick Clark of Pickens County, South Carolina wrote the following on Facebook :
‘As a mark of respect for the memory of Nelson Mandela, the President orders that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff effective immediately until sunset, December 9, 2013. “Nelson Mandela did great things for his country and was a brave man but he was not an AMERICAN!!! The flag should be lowered at our Embassy in S. Africa, but not here”.
Clark went on to state that he would not be lowering the flag for Nelson Mandela. It appears Clark’s comments have since been removed from his Facebook page, but in reading current commentary on his timeline you’ll note the comments were more than likely made by this officer of the law. Apparently Clark does not know that he works in a public building and it is his job to follow the law.
The Mission Statement for the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office reads as follows:
“It is the mission of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office to serve all persons within our jurisdiction by providing fair, efficient, and impartial law enforcement and to perform our duties with respect and compassion. Our commitment is to the protection of life and property; the preservation of peace, order, and safety; and the enforcement of local, state, and federal laws with honesty and integrity while maintaining regard for human dignity and the individual rights of our citizen.” [Emphasis added]
Pasted from <http://www.pickenscosheriff.org/>
The Presidential Proclamation issued December 5, 2013 didn’t ‘request’ flag’s to be flown at half-staff, it ORDERED flags to be flown at half-staff in accordance with federal law. Pub. L. 105-225, §2(a), Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1498 is the law granting the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, the power to make any changes he desires.
“Sec. 10. Modification of rules and customs by President
“Any rule or custom pertaining to the display of the flag of the
United States of America, set forth herein, may be altered, modified, or
repealed, or additional rules with respect thereto may be prescribed, by
the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States,
whenever he deems it to be appropriate or desirable; and any such
alteration or additional rule shall be set forth in a proclamation.”.
See United States Code Title 4 – FLAG AND SEAL, SEAT OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE STATES CHAPTER 1 – THE FLAG Sec. 10 – Modification of rules and customs by President
What has happened to this country where those individuals charged with the task of enforcing the laws, as well as those individuals having the power to make laws are unable to show respect and common courtesy to the President of this country? We all have a right to our own personal opinions and if Rick Clark does not want to lower his home flag to half-staff that is his personal choice, a choice that is not available to him as a public servant.
Lack of disrespect towards our President has grown to epidemic portions and drastic actions need to be taken to stop this runaway train in its tracks.
The first step is demanding the resignation of Rick Clark and any other person in authority that chooses to ignore a direct Presidential order. The next step is to replace all tea party Republicans with individuals that actually have the best interests of “we the people” in mind, when filing legislation, rather than their own agenda.
© 2013 Patricia L Johnson