Mayor Gavin Buckley says he put in a request over the weekend for President Trump to lower American flags in Annapolis to honor the five people killed in the Capital Gazette mass shooting—and he's "obviously" disappointed that it was turned down. The AP reports Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes told him of the decision. "Is there a cutoff for tragedy?” Buckley tells 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." Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered state flags to be lowered for four days after the Thursday shooting.
Buckley says he originally thought he might lower the city's American flags even if Trump didn't order it be done but changed his mind after his wife persuaded him that such a move had the potential to polarize and anger people. There has been no comment yet from the White House, which has lowered flags to honor the victims of other mass shootings, including the Parkland school shooting. The Flag Code's guidelines say that governors may order a flag be flown at half-mast following the death of an official or US Armed Forces member, but that the president shall make the order upon the death of "leading citizens." The AP notes there will be a Capital Gazette presence at the city's Fourth of July parade; members from the paper will march near the front. (Read more Capital Gazette shooting stories.)