Last evening the State Senate passed a measure introduced by Representative Jason Perillo (R-113) and State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) which would protect the placement of flags at the gravesites of war veterans around Memorial Day. The measure was added to a larger flag code bill when Rep. Perillo ushered it through the State House earlier this month.
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 would prohibit such restrictions starting from the Friday prior to Memorial Day.
“We felt it was important to improve on past legislation to assure that a cemetery could not restrict the placement of American flags at veterans’ gravesites during the season when their sacrifices are observed,” said Rep. Perillo. “I am pleased that this measure received such complete approval in the State Senate and it is our hope that Governor Malloy will now sign this bill which is hitting his desk just as we head into Memorial Day.”
“I am proud to join with my colleagues to support legislation that would protect the caring and dedicated volunteers who decorate veterans’ gravesites in observance of Memorial Day,” said Senator Kelly. “Among the many issues facing our state today, it is important to recognize the veterans who have sacrificed their time, safety and in some cases their lives on our behalf. I applaud the unanimous support for this measure that will now provide more time to properly memorialize veterans’ gravesites.”
The 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 Memorial Day holiday.
The bill, HB 6457, An Act Concerning the Display of the State or National Flag at Half-Staff passed unanimously in the Senate, and had passed the House on May 2. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Dannel P. Malloy for his signature.
This session of the Connecticut General Assembly will adjourn on June 5.