Governor Deal Updates Language in Half Staff Flags Executive Order

Earlier this morning, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal issued an executive order that flags at stat facilities should be flown at half staff through Sunday, in honor of the lives lost in Dallas last night. The wording of his executive order drew immediate criticism because he referred to the shooting as being part of an “anti-police protest.” In another series of tweets, the governor said,

I’ve reissued the EO regarding lowering flags to half-staff in memory of the fallen officers in TX to mirror the presidential EO. In addition, I’d like to clarify the previous executive order I issued. The anti-police incident to which I referred was the shooting of law enforcement officers, as that was the stated intent of the shooters. It was not in reference to those peacefully demonstrating. Again, my thoughts and prayers are with all those who’ve suffered loss of a loved one this week.

The original executive order began with, “Today, we mourn the lives of five law enforcement officers who were gunned down in a coordinated sniper attack during an anti-police protest in Dallas, Texas on Thursday, July 7, 2016.” The updated executive order now begins with, “Today, we mourn the lives of five law enforcement officers who were gunned down in a coordinated sniper attack in Dallas, Texas on Thursday, July 7, 2016.”

In addition, the revised executive order extends the period at which the flag should be flown at half staff until Tuesday, matching the time period for federal buildings.

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Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

The original order wasn’t an off-the-cuff remark, so it was logical to conclude the Deal administration characterizes Black Lives Matter as an anti-police organization. Deal had the establishment political sense to recognize it was an improper characterization when brought to attention.