On Tuesday, President Donald Trump ordered flags to be lowered in honor of the victims of the Capital Gazette shooting after initially denying the request the day before.

The Mayor of Annapolis Gavin Buckley had made the request over the weekend, but was surprised to find his personal appeal rejected come Monday. The president had previously ordered flags lowered for mass shootings, including those that occurred at Santa Fe High School in Texas and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida this past year.

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In a statement given to The Baltimore Sun, Buckley wondered why his town’s tragedy wasn’t given the same respect.

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“Obviously, I’m disappointed, you know? … Is there a cutoff for tragedy? This was an attack on the press. It was an attack on freedom of speech. It’s just as important as any other tragedy,” said Buckley.

On June 28, gunman Jarrod Ramos fatally shot five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper. The mayor said he hoped having the American flags lowered would help keep national attention on the attack.


On Tuesday, the White House reversed its decision, releasing an official proclamation which ordered American flags to be lowered at all public buildings and military posts. “Our nation shares the sorrow of those affected by the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. Americans across the country are united in calling upon God to be with the victims and to bring aid and comfort to their families and friends,” read the proclamation.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later explained that the initial rejection was due to a miscommunication. The initial request had been denied because it “did not come directly from Mr. Buckley,” said Sanders. Since the mayor had submitted the flag request through Maryland representatives in Congress, it was rejected until the White House could confirm that Buckley had in fact asked for it.

“As soon as the president directly heard about the request made by the mayor, he asked that we reach out and verify that their mayor had made the request,” Sanders told reporters. “And when we did, the president asked that the flags be lowered immediately.”

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