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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 19, 2018 09:10 AM
From: Representative Timothy J. O'Neal and Rep. Clint Owlett
To: All House members
Subject: PA Veterans Grave Decorations (Former HB 1471)
We are joining together to introduce a bill, amending the Second-Class County Code, which would ensure proper upkeep of the graves of Pennsylvania veterans. Under current law, counties are required to place a U.S. flag on the graves of all honorably discharged veterans. Our legislation would enhance current law to require cemeteries to remove flags when they become unsightly or weatherworn after Veteran’s Day, and for the flags to be American made.

In addition, our proposal allows for a family member to remove and keep the flag from the grave after Veterans’ Day. The bill authorizes cemeteries to remove flags as part of the normal course of maintenance after Independence Day, provided that the flags are available to family members, veterans' organizations, or other community organizations for decorating graves in recognition of Veterans' Day.

Additionally, the bill would clarify current law to ensure greater communication between cemeteries, local veterans’ organizations, and county commissioners, who are currently required to provide the flags. 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.

Similar provisions were enacted this past session for a First-Class County and 3rd through 8th Class Counties. Passage of this proposal will ensure that these provisions are applicable in every county.

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.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB233