HARRISBURG – The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee today reported out a bill authored by Rep. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) that would bolster proper upkeep of grave decorations for all honorably discharged veterans in second-class counties.
“As a veteran, I fully understand the sacrifices that members of the military have made,” O’Neal said. “It saddens me when I see worn or tattered flags at the graves of veterans. These men and women have done so much for our country. The least we can do is pay them proper homage in death.”
House Bill 233 would strengthen current law to require cemeteries in second-class counties to remove flags from veterans’ graves when they become unsightly or weatherworn after Veterans Day and that all flags used be American made. In addition, a family member could remove the flag and keep it after Veterans Day.
Under current law, all counties are required to furnish a U.S. flag to be placed at the graves of all honorably discharged veterans each Memorial Day. The bill also allows cemeteries in second-class counties to remove flags after Independence Day through the course of normal maintenance, as long as the flags are provided for redecoration in recognition of Veterans Day.
Last session, similar legislation became law for first-class and third- through eighth-class counties.
The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.
The 48th Legislative District in Washington County includes the city of Washington; Chartiers, North Franklin, North Strabane and South Strabane townships; and Canonsburg, East Washington and Houston boroughs.
Representative Tim O’Neal
48th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tracy Polovick