South Carolina Sheriff Defies Obama: He Refuses To Lower Flags As A Tribute To Mandela

His reasoning makes sense, although I don’t see anything wrong with lowering the flag to half-mast to honor friends of the United States like Margaret Thatcher.

Rick Clark

A South Carolina Sheriff is defying President Barack Obama’s order to lower flags to half-staff as a tribute to South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said he was defying Obama’s order because he thinks the honor of lowering flags should be reserved for fallen Americans.

“It’s just my simple opinion that the flag should only be lowered to half-staff for Americans who sacrificed for their country,” Clark told CNN affiliate WHNS.

…“I have no problem lowering it in South Africa in their country but not for our country,” Clark told WHNS. “It should be the people who have sacrificed for our country.

Nelson Mandela’s legacy is actually a little more complicated than people are portraying it to be. Mandela did start off his career as a Communist and a terrorist. He could have gotten out of prison much earlier than he did, but he refused to renounce violence. If you want to know why Reagan wasn’t eager to buddy up to Mandela, it’s because he seemed more likely to be another Castro or Mugabe than a statesman. Had he died in prison, his legacy would have been that of just another scumbag terrorist who would have been forgotten by history.

However, after Mandela got out of : prison, surprisingly he chose reconciliation over the savagery and violence he embraced as a young man. In so doing, he actually handled the transition in South Africa about as well as anyone could have, although he could never be fairly called a friend of the United States.

Some people tend to remember the statesman who beat apartheid and worked to transition to black rule in South Africa and those people treat Mandela like a hero. Others remember the fact that he was a terrorist and a Communist and he harshly attacked the United States; those people treat Mandela like a villain. The truth is that he was somewhere in between, although the good he did in South Africa certainly outweighed the evil.

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