Flags often lowered for foreign dignitaries

info@islandpacket.comDecember 28, 2013 

In response to the writer who was critical of the Dec. 11 cartoon regarding Nelson Mandela and the Pickens County sheriff, the letter cites the sheriff's decision as based on the fact that the flag should "only be lowered for citizens of the U.S." It says that the sheriff was "recognizing and honoring that long tradition from our founding." This would be fine, if it were true, but that's not the case.

The writer uses this to support his belief that the "current administration dislikes the U.S. and its traditions" and goes on to make other negative statements regarding the administration and the cartoonist. He says "if the cartoonist did not know the sheriff's favorable opinion (of Mandela), that is shoddy work."

If the writer had taken just a few minutes to do some cursory research, he would have found that the president can issue an executive order for the flag of the U.S. to be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the U.S. government, foreign dignitaries, and others, as a mark of respect to their memory. In recent times, for example, President George W. Bush ordered flags flown at half-staff in honor of Pope John Paul II, a Polish citizen, and to honor the memory of the victims of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

Shoddy work, indeed.

Elaine Johnston

Callawassie Island

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