President Obama asked all flags to be flown at half-staff after the death of the former South African leader.
But that didn’t matter to Sheriff Rick Clark.
"The flag at half-staff is for Americans’ ultimate sacrifice for our country," Clark said in defending his decision.
The Pickens County, South Carolina Sheriff told the Greenville News "we should never stray away from that."
WIS-TV reports Clark posted the following comment on his Facebook page.
"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."
There were many messages of support after the decision but some dissenters as well.
The local chapter of the NAACP wrote “I expect for him to follow proper protocol and fly the flag at half-staff because that’s the respect I would like to give Nelson Mandela as a citizen of Pickens County."
Clark did fly his flag at half-staff to honor those who died in the December 7th, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
In the end the choice of how to display the flag is up to Clark.
The federal flag code is not a law, it’s a guide.
According to the United States Congress the guideline "does not prescribe any penalties for non-compliance."
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