Flake was widely admired for his strength, leadership and wisdom, and was agriculture's most prominent voice. Upon meeting President Bush as the White House with some fellow Arizonans, Flake said, "Mr. President, the cowboys are here." Flake was a member of the Senate Appropriations and Government committees. He chaired the Natural Resources and Rural Affairs committees and the Appropriations subcommittee on Education and Natural Resources. His life was described by friends and colleagues as a ride well done.