The US flag flew high outside a sheriff's office in South
Carolina in defiance of an order from President Barack Obama
to lower all flags in memory of the late South African leader
Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said he believed the
lowering of the flag to half-staff was a tribute that should
be reserved for US citizens.
"To show a sign of respect for what Nelson Mandela's done, I
have no problem with lowering it in South Africa, in their
country," Clark told a local television station.
"But in our country, it should be the people, in my opinion,
who have sacrificed for our country."
On Friday, the sheriff's flag flew at half-staff in honour of
a South Carolina law enforcement officer who was killed in
the line of duty and it remained lowered through Pearl Harbor
Day on Saturday.
The flag was raised to the top of the mast on Monday (local
time), however, and the sheriff's office said Clark would
have no further comment beyond what he told a local TV
Obama ordered that flags be flown at half staff until sunset
South Carolina, in the heart of the old Deep South, has a
troubled history when it comes to race relations and civil
Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican and daughter of Indian
Sikh immigrants, posted a tribute to Mandela on her Facebook
page last Thursday.
Some commentators on the Facebook page later responded by
calling Mandela everything from an "evil man" and "devout
Marxist" to "a socialist goon."