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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 25, 2017 12:57 PM
From: Representative Jim Christiana
To: All House members
Subject: Pennsylvania Veterans' Grave Decorations

Currently, counties are required to place a United States flag on the graves of all honorably discharged veterans, including those who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines during World War II, and any organization officially connected with the military and whose separation from such service was honorable. To that end, it is the duty of the county commissioners of each county to provide United States flags of one standard size on each Memorial Day with which to decorate the graves of the above mentioned persons. These U.S. flags are to remain up from Memorial Day until after the 4th of July.

I will be introducing legislation to require cemeteries to remove torn and weathered flags and contact the county for a replacement. My proposal will also allow for a veteran’s family member to keep the U.S. flag after the first working day after the 4th of July. The county would be permitted to monitor the flag placements and work with the local veterans’ service organizations to ensure that cemeteries are complying with the law. This legislation will also increase the fines for a violation of the applicable statute.

The placement of U.S. flags at the burial site of our military personnel and veterans are an important way to honor and respect those who have devoted their lives to serving our Commonwealth and nation. Our military personnel and veterans risked their lives to preserve our freedoms and liberty. It is only appropriate that we honor them by improving this law and act of remembrance.

This proposal is a companion proposal, with similar provisions, to additional legislation to authorize the placement of U.S. flags on the graves of our first responders who risk their lives daily.

I thank you for your consideration and support.

Document #1

Introduced as HB1470

Description: Amending the act of August 9, 1955, known as The County Code, in special powers and duties of counties, further providing for flags to decorate graves.


Document #2

Introduced as HB1471

Description: Amending the act of July 28, 1953, known as the Second Class County Code, in special powers and duties of the county, further providing for flags to decorate graves.


Document #3

Introduced as HB1473

Description: Amending the act of June 11, 1935, entitled "An act relating to the counties of the First Class; defining deceased services persons; providing for contributions by the county to the funeral expenses for such persons and their widows; providing for the erection and care of markers, headstones, and flags and for the compilation of war records," further providing for flags to decorate graves.