First Memorial Day for Veterans’ Grave Flag Measure

May 29, 2013

Hartford, CT – State Senator Jason Welch (R-Bristol), ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee proudly supports a measure that protects the placement of flags at the gravesites of war veterans around Memorial Day and through the Fourth of July holiday.

“There are many volunteers who decorated veterans’ gravesites in observance of Memorial Day and this bill allowed them extra time to accomplish their good work,” said Senator Welch. “This measure also assures that a cemetery cannot restrict the placement of American flags at veterans’ gravesites during the season when their sacrifices are observed.”

Current law prohibits any town, cemetery association or ecclesiastical society from enacting bylaws restricting the placement of the flag of the United States on veterans’ graves from the Saturday before Memorial Day until the Monday after the Fourth of July. The new bill, recently signed into law would prohibit such restrictions starting from the Friday prior to Memorial Day. This was the first year volunteers were able to begin flag placement before the holiday weekend.

Legislators noted that the time frame allotted for flag placement is too narrow with VFW organizations and American Legion members, many of whom are advanced in age, needing more time to ensure adequate placement of these flags in advance of the military observances.

The provision was part of a larger bill entitled, An Act Concerning the Display of the State or National Flag at Half-Staff which passed unanimously in the Senate, and had passed the House on May 2nd. The larger bill clarifies that the Governor may proclaim that the state flag be flown at half-staff to honor the memory of state officials and celebrities without requiring that the national flag also be flown at half-staff.