A Kansas mayor won't lower flags in his community in honor of a fallen firefighter because he believes that would be breaking the law.

Mike Tluscik, 48, a Wyandotte County firefighter, died on Thanksgiving after returning from a call when he collapsed at his fire station.

Edwardsville Mayor Heinz Rodgers said he's following the U.S. flag code, which says only the president and/or a governor can order a flag to be lowered to half staff.

"I understand and I sympathize with the firefighters in wanting to show their appreciation and respect for a fallen firefighter although we won't break any codes of our nation to do that," Rodgers said.

Watch a video report from myFOXkc.com

Firefighters across the county have been flying flags at half staff but the mayor won't participate.

"No one else in our country has that authority and since my oath of office is to uphold the laws of the state and country that is what our city will do," Rodgers said.

Rodgers said the city sent flowers to Tluscik's funeral and he's asked firefighters to find other ways to honor Tluscik.