Officials in an Alabama County refuse to lower flags to half-staff to show solidarity with other states as the nation grieves over the Orlando mass shooting.
Baldwin County Commissioner Tucker Dorsey told reporters Thursday that he’s following flag code by not lowering the flag, according to Alabama Today.
“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,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey defied a federal order from President Barack Obama and a corollary from Gov. Robert Bentley that all state and federal flags were to be lowered until noon Thursday.
He contends that the discretion over flag-lowering lies with him and decided against it.
Alabama Today noted that Dorsey also refused to lower the flags after the November Paris terror attacks and the December San Bernardino terror attack.
“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,” Dorsey explained on his Facebook page Monday. “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 also compared lowering the flags half-staff to the state “lowering its head down,” according to Alabama Today. He wanted Americans to fight back against “the forces of evil” instead.