|As Senate Turns to Defense Authorization Bill, Norton Urges that D.C. Flag be Respected by the Military|
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today said she was encouraged that the Senate began consideration of the motion to proceed to the fiscal year 2013 Defense Authorization bill, in light of her request that Senate Democrats add a requirement to the bill for the armed services to display the flags of the District of Columbia and the territories whenever the flags of the 50 states are displayed, as is required by the House-passed fiscal year 2013 Defense Authorization bill. To illustrate the importance of the issue, the Congresswoman held a press conference on Veterans Day, where a mother, D.C. resident Tomi Rucker, told of attending her son’s graduation from Naval Station Great Lakes, during which the flags representing the states of all the graduates were displayed except the D.C. flag.
“It is an outrage that the armed services do not automatically display the flags of the District of Columbia and the territories whenever the flags of the 50 states are displayed,” Norton said. “D.C. residents have served in every war this country has fought, and given their blood and treasure to defend the nation. The nation willingly takes our federal tax dollars but denies us representation in Congress. The least it could do is pay respect to our soldiers.”
In fiscal year 2012, the House also included the provision in its Defense Authorization bill, but Senate Republicans would not agree to include it in the final bill. Currently, the Army is the only service branch that displays the D.C. and territorial flags whenever the flags of the 50 states are displayed as a matter of policy. In August 2012, the Department of Defense issued a memo encouraging, but not requiring, the branches to display the flags of D.C. and the territories whenever the flags of the 50 states are displayed. Norton has also asked President Obama to direct all federal agencies, both civilian and military, to display the D.C. flag whenever the flags of the 50 states are displayed.
Published: November 15, 2012