WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) – Following the death of Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama has ordered all flags to half-staff.

The President issued the proclamation shortly after Mandela passed away on Thursday afternoon.

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“Today, the United States has lost a close friend, South Africa has lost an incomparable liberator, and the world has lost an inspiration for freedom, justice, and human dignity — Nelson Mandela is no longer with us, he belongs to the ages,” President Obama said in an official statement.

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All flags will remain at half-staff until sunset on Dec. 9, 2013.

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