Flag amendment added to National Defense Authorization
My bill, H.R. 985, requiring the display of territorial flags whenever state flags are displayed at U.S. military installations, was added to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. The House approved the amendment during debate on the NDAA by voice vote. A number of constituents have raised this issue with their congressional office over the last three years; and the Army has been prompt to address the problem administratively. But the Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy all allow base commanders to decide whether or not to display territorial flags along with state flags. I believe no local commander should have discretion to exclude any part of the United States-or the fighting men and women of any part of the United States-from recognition. A statutory remedy is required, so that our Northern Marianas military personnel never have to face the embarrassment of returning from service overseas and seeing their flag forgotten in welcome home ceremonies. The NDAA also increases salaries for U.S. military personnel by 1.7 percent.