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Flags lowered at Cole County facilities

Flags lowered at Cole County facilities

June 14th, 2016 in Local News

The U.S. flag at the Cole County Courthouse was lowered to half-staff Tuesday afternoon, reversing the Cole County Commission's original decision Monday not to lower it following the Orlando, Florida, shooting on Sunday.

Cole County Western District Commissioner Kris Scheperle changed his vote Tuesday against lowering the flags at county offices in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting.

The flags were lowered during the 2 o'clock hour.

The move comes after the commission received many calls and social media messages against their decision.

"In spite of the fact that my vote was in accordance with Cole County's flag ordinance and federal law, I reconsider my original vote (position) due to the negative attention this has brought Cole County. The bottom line is my concerns for Cole County citizens," Scheperle said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Cole County Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman voted to lower the flags Monday.

Eastern District Commissioner Jeff Hoelscher said he stood by his decision to keep the flags up.

In September 2015, county commissioners decided not to make any changes to the county flag ordinance adopted in 2012. The ordinance set the guidelines for the practice of flying the American flag at half staff at all Cole County buildings.

Flags are to be flown at half-staff on days such as Memorial Day and Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15; by order of the president upon the death of principal figures of the U.S. government or for a member of the U.S. armed forces; by order of the governor upon the death of a member of the U.S. armed forces from Missouri; and Pearl Harbor Day on Dec. 7.

The order from President Barack Obama calls for flags to stay at half-staff through Thursday evening.

Previous coverage: County won't fly flags at half-staff

Editor's Note: This article has been edited to add Cole County Western District Commissioner Kris Scheperle's statement.