RALEIGH, N.C. — A longtime state employee has chosen to retire instead of lowering flags to half-staff to honor former Republican Sen. Jesse Helms.
Gov. Mike Easley had ordered all U.S. and state flags lowered after Helms died July 4. But L.F. Eason III told his staff to ignore the directive at the state Standards Laboratory in Raleigh.
I note that the US Flag was not lowered at WCU. That may be due to a simple misunderstanding.
While I was taking the above photo at Western Carolina University, two employees asked me who died, and they expressed disgust (cursed, actually) when I told them it was for Senator Jesse Helms. At least the Helms funeral didn’t turn into a hatefest like Senator Paul Wellstone’s funeral.
**update** 12.17 PM
Jon Ham has a pretty good take on the incident.
**update** 3.38 PM
Now, the spinning has started, and Under The Dome has it.
In short, the Agriculture Dept is denying an ultimatum was delivered.