Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said she will not follow Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order to lower Florida flags at half-staff in honor of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh who died last week.
“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," Fried 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."
Speaking at an event in West Palm Beach Friday, DeSantis announced that he will order flags in Florida to be flown at half-staff when Limbaugh’s body is laid to rest.
Limbaugh, who lived in Florida, died Wednesday at age 70 after battling lung cancer.
"Lowering the flag should always reflect unity, not division, and raising our standards, not lowering them," Fried added. "Our flags will remain flying high to celebrate the American values of diversity, inclusion, and respect for all.”
Fried's office oversees several state offices and facilities, including nine regional licensing offices, 38 state forests, and 23 agricultural law enforcement inspection stations.