South Carolina Sheriff Refuses To Lower Flag To Honor Mandela Rick Clark, the sheriff of Pickens County, South Carolina, is refusing to lower the flag to half-staff to honor the life of Nelson Mandela, publicly defying the orders of President Barack Obama. After Mandela died on December 5 at the age of 95-years-old, Obama issued a declaration ordering all U.S. flags—from the White House to government buildings and military outposts—to be flown at half-staff through sunset on Monday, December 9. A rare honor for a foreign dignitary that Clark doesn’t feel Madiba deserves. Despite all that Mandela did for global peace and democracy, because he wasn’t America, Clark feels that only South Africa should honor him and posted the following on his Facebook page: After one commenter repeatedly posted that President Obama had the right to order the flags lowered Clark responded with the following. Pickens deleted his disrespectful comment about Mandela, and replaced it with the following.