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County in Missouri refuses to lower flag for Orlando victims, backtracks after backlash

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COLE COUNTY, Mo. – After a gunman claimed the lives of 49 people, flags across the country were lowered in respect for the victims.

Flags on all city, state and federal buildings except Cole County, Missouri.

The News Tribune reports that county commissioners voted 2-1 against lowering the flags for the Orlando shooting victims.

“We [the commission] still have control over how the flags are displayed,” said Eastern District Commissioner Jeff Hoelscher. “Lowering it too much takes away from the honor. I feel for these victims and for their families, but I don’t feel this was a time for the flag to be lowered.”

President Barack Obama issued a proclamation on Sunday, calling for all flags on city, state and federal buildings to be lowered to half-staff until sunset on Thursday.

“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,” said Western District Commissioner Kris Scheperle.

In addition to the U.S. Flag Code, the county approved a 2012 flag ordinance that allows the county to also lower the flag during certain holidays, the death of a member of the U.S. armed forces and the death of a member of the U.S. armed forces from Missouri.

After receiving a lot of backlash, the county reversed its decision and decided to lower the flags for the Orlando victims.