Rep. Casimiro and Sen. Sheehan introduce ‘Honor and Remember Flag’ legislation
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Julie A. Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter) and Sen. James C. Sheehan (D-Dist. 36, North Kingstown, Narragansett) have introduced legislation (2017-H 5051 / 2017-S 0196) that would make Rhode Island the 23rd state to recognize the Honor and Remember Flag as the state’s symbol of her sons and daughters who have made the ultimate sacrifice in all our nation’s wars.
“Although all of our veterans and active service members sacrifice so much to protect the American way of life, I believe the military members who have made the ultimate sacrifice deserve special recognition for giving their lives to preserve our country’s peace, safety and prosperity,” said Representative Casimiro.
“The truly selfless actions demonstrated by our men and women in the military who have fallen in action deserve a special honor to remind us how absolute their bravery was in protecting our democracy,” said Senator Sheehan. “This flag is but a small gesture to honor our nation’s heroes who put our country’s well-being over their own lives.”
The flag was conceived by George Lutz of Virginia whose son was killed in action in Iraq in 2005. Mr. Lutz has travelled to every state to talk to legislators regarding instituting this honor for our fallen service men and women. The Annin Flag Company designed the flag that can only be manufactured in the United States.
The bill provides that the Honor and Remember Flag would fly beneath the state flag on only two holidays –Memorial Day and Gold Star Families Day- and whenever the governor orders flags flown at half-staff during a period of mourning for a fallen warrior. The flag would only be required to be flown at the State House and Veterans Cemetery in Exeter. Other state agencies and municipalities could fly the flag at their discretion.
Richard J. August, Gold Star Father of Army CPT Matthew J. August who was KIA in Iraq, emphasized that the flag is not intended to replace the American flag or the POW/MIA flag which took 28 years to be recognized as a national symbol and will not be presented to the family of the fallen at the internment.
“The licensing fee flag manufacturers pay is used to present embroidered flags to families of the fallen,” said Mr. August. He noted that such a flag was presented to the widow and daughter of Special Forces SFC Lewis Walton who was MIA-Presumed Dead in Vietnam until his remains were recovered and returned to be buried at the Veterans Cemetery in 2004.
August said he has been circulating a petition in support of the legislation among veterans and has received unanimous approval and support. Representative Casimiro said that response on her Facebook page “has been overwhelmingly positive”.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903