Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Friday that he will order flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of conservative talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh, who died this week at the age of 70 after being diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer last year.
“I know they’re still figuring out arrangements. But what we do when there’s things of this magnitude, once the date of internment for Rush is announced, we’re going to be lowering the flags to half-staff,” the Republican governor said.
DeSantis made the announcement during an event in Palm Beach County, where Limbaugh lived. The governor began the event, in which he announced his support for election reforms, by honoring Limbaugh.
“There’s not much that needs to be said, the guy was an absolute legend,” DeSantis said. “He was a friend of mine and just a great person.”
The governor’s announcement comes after Florida state Representative Anthony Sabatini requested earlier this week that flags be lowered in honor of the radio legend, whom he called “a great Floridian.”
“Mr. Limbaugh was a champion of the constitution, civic engagement, and a true American patriot,” Sabatini, a Republican, wrote in a letter to the governor.
Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried criticized the move in a tweet on Friday in which she questioned the governor’s “priorities.”
“@GovRonDeSantis is lowering Florida’s flags to half-staff for Rush Limbaugh. But he had no words for Congressman John Lewis. Priorities,” said Fried, the only statewide elected Democratic official in Florida.
After launching The Rush Limbaugh Show in 1988, Limbaugh grew to become one of the most influential media figures in America, eventually hosting the most listened-to radio show in the U.S., airing on more than 600 stations.
He received a stage-four lung cancer diagnosis in January 2020. Then-President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom days later at the State of the Union address.
“This is not good news,” Trump said then of Limbaugh’s diagnosis. “But what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet. Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country.”