Perillo helps veterans’ grave flag measure pass the House

State Rep. Jason Perillo of Shelton successfully worked to pass an amendment through the state House of Representatives that would protect the placement of flags at the gravesites of war veterans around Memorial Day.

The amendment would alter the state’s current flag code legislation to allow more time to place the gravesite flags before the holiday in late May.

Current law prohibits any town, cemetery association or ecclesiastical society from enacting bylaws restricting the placement of U.S. flags 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 Wednesday prior to Memorial Day.

Perillo  said the time frame allotted for flag placement now is too narrow, and VFW and American Legion members need more time to place flags in advance of the Memorial Day holiday.

“This bill will give them a wider window to accomplish that,” he said.

Veteran Al Sabetta of the Sutter-Terlizzi American Legion Post 16 in Shelton said it takes time for volunteers — many of them elderly — to place all the flags.

“What we were finding was that cemeteries were using the law to actually prevent us from getting in to place flags before the Saturday prior,” Sabetta said.