President Trump orders flags lowered in tribute to John Lewis

The US flag above the White House flies at half-staff in the evening in Washington, DC, on August 27, 2018. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is paying tribute to the late Congressman John Lewis by ordering all flags on public grounds to be flown at half-staff across the nation.

In an announcement Saturday afternoon, Trump said that he was ordering that flags at the White House, all public buildings and ground, military posts and naval stations, and on all naval ships will have the flags lowered throughout Saturday.

Trump's declaration also will affect any embassies, military facilities, and more abroad.

In his declaration, Trump said the measure was "a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding public service of Representative John Lewis."

MORE: Rep. John Lewis, lion of Civil Rights Movement, dies at 80

The congressman and civil rights icon died Friday night at the age of 80. He was the youngest and last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists who organized the 1963 March on Washington, and spoke shortly before the group’s leader, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., gave his “I Have a Dream” speech to a vast sea of people.


Rep. John Lewis and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus wait to enter as a group to attend the memorial services of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais-Pool/Getty Images)

Lewis earned bipartisan respect in Washington, where some called him the “conscience of Congress.” His humble manner contrasted with the puffed chests on Capitol Hill.

The congressman's death led to politicians from both sides of the aisle sending their tributes, with both Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democrat House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi sharing their memories of Lewis.

MORE: Presidents Jimmy Carter, Obama, and more share tributes to John Lewis

Lewis had previously voted in favor of Trump's impeachment and refused to attend Trump's inauguration, saying he didn’t consider him a “legitimate president” because Russians had conspired to get him elected. When Trump later complained about immigrants from “s---hole countries,” Lewis declared, “I think he is a racist ... we have to try to stand up and speak up and not try to sweep it under the rug.”

Trump's declaration follows Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms's citywide decree to lower all flags on government buildings in the City of Atlanta and Gov. Brian Kemp's executive order on flags on state grounds.

READ ALSO: John Lewis: ‘Good troublemaker’ and tireless activist — a look at the life of the civil rights icon

The Associated Press contributed to this report.