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A Plan to Lower Flags for Rush Limbaugh Quickly Caused a Fight in Florida

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MIAMI — Even in loss of life, Rush Limbaugh despatched political partisans to their preventing corners.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a Republican who was shut with Mr. Limbaugh, the right-wing speak radio megastar who died last week, stated on Tuesday that flags on the State Capitol and at two Palm Seaside County websites needs to be lowered to half-staff in his reminiscence on Wednesday.

That honor is often reserved for well-known public officers, members of the army and legislation enforcement officers who died on obligation. On Monday, for instance, Mr. DeSantis directed that flags be lowered on Tuesday to honor a Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy who was fatally struck by a automobile final week.

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However it’s also inside the governor’s energy to challenge what are often called flag memorandums to commemorate tragedies such because the Parkland faculty capturing. Mr. DeSantis stated on Friday that Mr. Limbaugh, a Florida resident for greater than twenty years who died in Palm Seaside, was an “absolute legend.”

“Not a lot must be stated,” the governor added of Mr. Limbaugh. “He was a pal of mine and only a nice individual.”

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In an announcement on Tuesday, Mr. DeSantis cited Mr. Limbaugh’s “service to our nation and state” and the Presidential Medal of Freedom he obtained from former President Donald J. Trump. He stated that U.S. and state flags needs to be lowered to half-staff on the Palm Seaside County Courthouse, Palm Seaside Metropolis Corridor and the State Capitol in Tallahassee.

Though Mr. DeSantis’s memorandum was not finally statewide, some officers had publicly ready to defy his order, igniting the form of political firestorm that Mr. Limbaugh himself might need fanned when he was alive.

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Nikki Fried, the Florida agriculture commissioner, who’s the one Democrat elected to statewide workplace, stated on Monday that she would refuse to decrease the flags within the state workplaces underneath her purview. The Florida Division of Agriculture and Client Providers, which she oversees, contains 9 regional licensing workplaces, 38 state forests and 23 agricultural legislation enforcement inspection stations.

“The flag is a logo of our nation, representing freedom and patriotism and liberty, and is meant to be lowered to honor those that have served,” Ms. Fried stated in an interview on Tuesday, earlier than Mr. DeSantis’s formal memorandum. “To decrease the flag for someone who’s spent his whole profession speaking hate and bigotry and dividing our nation and spewing conspiracy theories shouldn’t be the best way we honor those that have fought for our flag.”

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Just a few native mayors additionally had stated they might defy the governor’s order. Mr. DeSantis’s workplace has not commented on the pushback.

The flap signaled the beginning of the 2022 election season in Florida. Ms. Fried is contemplating a run for governor in opposition to Mr. DeSantis, who’s up for re-election. Different Democrats are additionally weighing candidacies, together with U.S. Consultant Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg, who served because the state’s Republican governor for one time period earlier than leaving the occasion.

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Mr. DeSantis, who ran as an acolyte of Mr. Trump in 2018, won by only about 32,000 votes after a recount. However Mr. Trump, himself now a Palm Beach resident, amassed such a solid victory in November that the state has regarded more and more tough for Democrats to win again.

Mr. DeSantis has used his insurance policies through the coronavirus pandemic, together with the reopening of faculties for in-person instruction within the fall, to begin rallying his political base. Certainly, the occasion on Friday throughout which he introduced that he would direct flags to be lowered for Mr. Limbaugh felt extra like a rowdy political gathering than a staid information convention, with cheers and standing ovations from the group.

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Mr. DeSantis famous that Mr. Limbaugh had invited him on his radio present when he was operating for governor.

“I used to be getting the tar kicked out of me daily, and he had me on the week earlier than the election in 2018,” he stated. “He didn’t have a whole lot of company. I used to be honored to be on his present a few occasions.”

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The information convention was held indoors at a Hilton lodge. Afterward, Palm Seaside County despatched the lodge a letter warning that attendees have been proven on movies and images not carrying masks, in violation of a neighborhood mandate.

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