Palm Beach County refuses to lower flags for Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh, the groundbreaking talk radio host, has died of lung cancer. He was 70.Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, announced the news on his radio show, which airs live from noon to 3 p.m. EST nationwide. .Limbaugh’s conservative talk show, heard by at least 20 million people a week during its peak, was deeply influential in shaping the Republican Party and its base.Forbes magazine estimated his 2018 income at $84 million, ranking him behind only Howard Stern among radio personalities.Limbaugh took as a badge of honor the title “most dangerous man in America.”. He said he was the “truth detector,” the “doctor of democracy,” a “lover of mankind,” a “harmless, lovable little fuzz ball” and an “all-around good guy.” .Limbaugh often enunciated the Republican platform better and more entertainingly than any party leader, becoming a GOP kingmaker.His idol, Ronald Reagan, wrote a letter of praise that Limbaugh proudly read on the air in 1992: “You’ve become the number one voice for conservatism.” .In 1994, Limbaugh was so widely credited with the first Republican takeover of Congress in 40 years the GOP made him an honorary member of the new class.Limbaugh influenced the likes of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and countless other commentators.President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh the presidential medal of freedom during his 2020 State of the Union address

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Palm Beach County defied Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday, refusing to lower its courthouse flags to half-staff in honor of the late conservative broadcaster Rush Limbaugh.

The county’s courthouse flags remained at full staff, ignoring DeSantis’ Tuesday afternoon order directing its U.S. and Florida flags to be flown at half-staff. He also ordered the Town of Palm Beach and the State Capitol in Tallahassee to fly their flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset Wednesday. Those flags were lowered.

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Palm Beach County would only say it followed “normal protocols” Wednesday, but Commissioner Melissa McKinlay posted a statement on Twitter saying, “The lowering of flags should be a unifying gesture during solemn occasions, such as in remembrance of the young lives lost during the Parkland High School massacre or first responder line of duty deaths.” She was referring to the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in nearby Parkland that left 17 dead.

McKinlay continued: “Although Rush Limbaugh was a significant public figure, he was also an incredibly divisive one who hurt many people with his words and actions.”

Officials in the Town of Palm Beach, the wealthy island enclave where Limbaugh lived for two decades, issued a statement saying its policy is to comply with governor’s orders to lower the flags.

“Although Rush Limbaugh was a significant public figure, he was also an incredibly divisive one who hurt many people with his words and actions."

- Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay

The governor’s press office did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. Flags are typically lowered to honor prominent government officials, as well as law enforcement officers and members of the military killed in the line of duty. DeSantis has said Limbaugh’s stature justified the honor.

Limbaugh, 70, died of lung cancer Feb. 17. DeSantis called Limbaugh a legend during a news conference two days later and indicated he would direct flags to be flown at half-staff to honor him.

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But many Democrats objected. Nikki Fried, Florida’s agriculture commissioner and the only statewide Democratic officeholder, said Monday that she would not abide by the Republican governor’s orders. She said she would notify all state officers she oversees to disregard the governor’s order.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman posted on Twitter that his city would not honor hatred, racism, bigotry, homophobia or anything else Limbaugh has spewed over the years.

The governor’s order does not apply to any of the offices controlled by Fried or the city of St. Petersburg.

A year ago, President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, during his final State of the Union address. The day before, Limbaugh had announced that he was battling advanced lung cancer.

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Limbaugh had for decades championed conservatism — often stridently at the expense of liberals and Democrats.

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