The aftermath of the nation’s deadliest mass shooting in Orlando last week has seen touching acts of solidarity across the nation.
But not so in Baldwin County.
Officials there refused to respond to entreaties to lower official flags in the county to half-staff, according to news reports.
Commissioner Tucker Dorsey explained the move thusly, speaking to reporters Thursday:
“I am of the opinion, by reading the flag code of the United States, that while my heart certainly goes out to the victims and their families…it doesn’t meet the test of the reason for the flag to be lowered to half-staff.”
The move comes despite a federal order from President Barack Obama and a state corollary from Gov. Robert Bentley that all state and federal flags are to be lowered until noon Thursday.
The Baldwin County Commission’s chairman refused, saying discretion over the status of flags lies with him — and he decided against it.
Dorsey also declined to lower the flags following the terror attacks on Paris and San Bernardino in recent months.
The commission’s chairman explained on his Facebook page:
Lowering the flags to half-staff after [a]mass shooting or terrorist event is not a valid circumstance or memorial as specified in the U.S. flag code. I realize that the President and Governor may make the order, but I believe and interpret their order inconsistent with the adopted flag code.
Dorsey continued that he thought lowering the flag was tantamount to the state “holding its head down” and vowed he wanted all Americans to “stand tall, courageously, and fight back against the forces of evil, and let’s fight like we intend to win.”
At press time, it was unclear whether state or federal officials had taken any interest in reprimanding the Baldwin Commission.