Missouri County Refused To Fly Flags At Half Mast For Orlando Victims

Following the tragic shooting in Orlando this weekend President Obama ordered that all American flags being flown on public buildings and grounds across the country be lowered to half mast ‘as a mark of respect for the victims’ until the end of the day on Thursday.  Officials in Cole County, Missouri have chosen to disobey this order and refuse to lower their flags.

According to report the three-person commission that governs Cole county voted 2-1 against lowering the flag, despite it being a direct order from the president.  Commissioner Jeff Hoelscher said, ‘We still have control over how the flags are displayed.  Lowering it too much takes away from the honor.  I feel for the victims and their families, but I don’t feel this was a time for the flag to be lowered.’

Commissioner Kris Scheperle also spoke on the matter, stating ‘I want to honor those who have served our country but we can’t lower it for every event like this that occurs.  I do feel for those who were gunned down, but I don’t think it warrants lowering the flag.’

Following a public backlash over the refusal to show respect to the victims of the Orlando massacre the commission reversed its decision and lowered the flags on Tuesday evening.

Personally, I’m shocked and disgusted that following the worst mass shooting in America for over 100 years, one of the worst acts of terrorism since 9/11 public officials would refuse to lower a flag to show respect.  Not only does this show people’s lack of respect for their nation’s leader and the laws of the land, but their complete hatred for the LGBT+ community.

In the wake of such tragedies, people ask themselves how something like that could have happened, which is a perfectly good question.  I mean, where would someone get the idea that it would be good to murder dozens of LGBT+ people in a country where people fight to take rights away from LGBT+ people, where people are legally allowed to discriminate against LGBT+ people, where religious leaders advocate for the deaths of LGBT+ people, or where people refuse to even lower a flag as a sign of respect for the loss of the LGBT+ community?  It’s really hard to get your head around that one.

Heartland Men’s Chorus holds moment of silence for Orlando victims
The Heartland Men’s Chorus held a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting in Orlando at its concert Sunday at the Folly Theater in downtown Kansas City.


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Amy is a journalist and editor contributing the websites Planet Transgender, Gay News Network, The Bottle Episode, The Retro Box and Claire Channel. Amy is also a published comic book writer and letterer.

In addition to her writing Amy has also worked with the Centre For Hate Crime Studies in Leicester and has worked in the capacity of an advisor to the United Nations Entity For Gender Equality and The Empowerment of Women.

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