State Employee Won't Lower Flags for Helms

July 9, 2008 - 12:58 PM
A longtime North Carolina state employee has chosen to retire instead of lowering flags to honor former Republican Sen. Jesse Helms.<br />
Raleigh, N.C. (AP) - A longtime North Carolina state employee has chosen to retire instead of lowering flags to honor former Republican Sen. Jesse Helms.

U.S. and state flags have been flying at half-staff since Gov. Mike Easley ordered them lowered after Helms died Friday.

L.F. Eason III told his staff at the state Standards Laboratory to ignore the directive. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that Eason sent workers an e-mail saying he didn't think it was appropriate to lower the flags because of Helms' "doctrine of negativity, hate, and prejudice."

Eason is calling it quits after 29 years with the Department of Agriculture after superiors told the 51-year-old to lower the flags or retire immediately.

Flags at the lab have since been lowered to half-staff.