Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark (Source: Facebook)
The American flag flies at full staff outside the Pickens Sheriff's Office. (Dec. 8, 2013/FOX Carolina)
PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -
Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark is staying true to his word, despite national criticism.
On Sunday morning, the American flag outside the Sheriff's Office swayed in the wind from its usual post at the top of the flag pole.
Clark said in a Facebook post Friday that he would not lower his flag for Nelson Mandela on Sunday, despite an executive order from President Barack Obama.
Obama called for all flags at the White House, public buildings and grounds, military posts, naval stations and naval vessels to remain lowered through sunset Monday evening out of respect for Mandela.
Clark ordered the flag to be raised to full-staff Sunday and said he felt flags should only be at half-mast in Mandela's honor in his home country of South Africa.
"I have no problem lowering it in South Africa in their country but not for our country," Clark said in an interview Friday. "It should be the people who have sacrificed for our country."
"It's just my simple opinion that the flag should only be lowered to half-staff for Americans who sacrificed for their country," he added.
On Saturday, Clark made a follow up post after receiving national media attention. He said he felt the media cycle had run its course.
"Time to move onto the next subject because I have work to do for my community and need to devote my time elsewhere," Clark posted. "Thank you for your support and comments. I urge you to read about President Mandela over the next few days of mourning and be inspired for public service for your community and the nation as he was."
Clark said although he received criticism over the initial post, he said most of the feedback he received was from those who supported his decision.
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