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