President Trump refused the mayor of Annapolis’s request to lower U.S. flags in the city to mark the fatal shooting of five workers at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland’s capital last week.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed, you know? … Is there a cutoff for tragedy?” Mayor Gavin Buckley said Monday afternoon, according to the Baltimore Sun. “This was an attack on the press. It was an attack on freedom of speech. It’s just as important as any other tragedy.”
According to the Sun, the mayor made the request of the White House at the weekend through the state’s Congress members. The Associated Press reported similarly.
Maryland state flags flew at half-staff through sunset Monday, per the order of Gov. Larry Hogan.
The Sun reported that the mayor considered lowering the city’s U.S. flags anyway in defiance of Mr. Trump’s rejection but decided against a public spat at his wife’s counsel.
“At this point in time, it would start to polarize people and I don’t want to make people angry,” he said.
Mr. Trump had ordered U.S. flags lowered after mass-casualty school shootings in Texas and Florida earlier this year.
Mr. Buckley did not say why his request was refused.
The man arrested in the shooting had a dispute with the Capital Gazette, unrelated to political ideology, since 2011 and the paper’s former editor said he was worrying about violence from him in 2013.