Despite an nationwide outpouring of grief in the wake of the mass murder of 50 clubgoers in Orlando on June 12, Baldwin Co., Alabama, has declined to lower its flags to half staff to honor the victims.
President Obama and Alabama Governor Robert Bentley ordered flags on all federal and state buildings lowered this week.
Baldwin Co., Commissioner Tucker Dorsey outlined his county’s position on Facebook:
“Lowering the flags to half-staff after mass shooting or terrorist event is not a valid circumstance or memorial as specified in the US flag code. I realize that the President and Governor may make the order, but I believe and interpret their order inconsistent with the adopted flag code.”
“When the flag is at half-staff, our country’s head is figuratively held low, and quite frankly, I am not willing to hang my head down because of a terrorist attack against our people and our allies. I am not willing to hang my head down because evil shoots up a church, school, or movie theater. We need more than a gesture as a response. I want us, as Americans, to stand tall, courageously, and fight back against the forces of evil, and let’s fight like we intend to win.”
Baldwin County’s actions did not go unnoticed by national media outlets and the county’s refusal to join in the signaling sorrow consistent with a majority of the nation — following the example of President Obama’s order to lower flags on federal buildings — drew a firestorm of controversy on social media.
Some in the Twitter-sphere accused the region of taking leave of good senses, others accused it of homophobia.
Cable news service, CNN, devoted an entire story to the matter and when asked by OutFront host Erin Burnett if the decision not to lower the county’s flag revolved around Baldwin County’s view the flag should remain “high in the face of terror in order to fight back,” Dorsey replied: “That’s exactly my heart on the issue.“
[CNN] [RT News]