Missouri county changes vote to lower flags for Orlando shooting victims


United States Flag at half mast (or rising) back-lit by the sun on a bright sunny day with blue sky. At Ft Sumter.

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UPDATE: Cole County presiding commissioner Sam Bushman tells ABC 17 News that public outcry has led commissioner Jeff Hoelscher to change his vote to not lower flags on county buildings. Bushman says the flags at all county buildings are now lowered.

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI) – The county home of the Missouri capitol had opted against lowering its flags to half-staff following a presidential proclamation to do so in order to honor the dozens of victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

President Barack Obama issued the order on Sunday, with flags to remain at half-staff until Thursday evening.

“As a mark of respect for the victims of the act of hatred and terror perpetrated on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Florida, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds.”

City, state, and federal offices across Jefferson City have complied, but Cole County authorities balked.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reported Tuesday that presiding commissioner Sam Bushman thought the flags should be lowered to half-mast, but he was overruled in a 2-1 vote by fellow commissioners Kris Scheperle and Jeff Hoelscher.

“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,” Scheperle told the News-Tribune.

Scheperle and Hoelscher said they sympathize with the victims and their families, but believe lowering the flags every so often dilutes the honor.

Bushman says public outcry led commissioner Jeff Hoelscher to change his vote. The flags at all county buildings are now lowered.


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