Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso today condemned the NJ Turnpike Authority’s removal of American flags from overpasses and moved forward with legislation that would unequivocally allow the flag to be flown.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that the Turnpike Authority would choose to remove dozens of American flags under the guise of a regulation for advertising material — it is unpatriotic and completely unacceptable,” said O’Scanlon. “While the NJTA claims they are unable to monitor all of the flags affixed to bridges, we clearly have a massive group of private citizens, veterans and police officers dedicated to ensuring that those flags are safely and securely hung, and respectfully maintained. This is an instance where government oversight obviously is not needed. We have requested legislation to undo this arbitrary, unnecessary, offensively unpatriotic action immediately.”
O’Scanlon and DiMaso requested legislation Monday to ensure that NJAC 19.9-1.13 undeniably permits the American flag to be attached to a highway overpass or any other state-owned property so long as it is safely secure and respectfully maintained.
“It Is unfortunate, actually ridiculous, that we even need to pass legislation to allow for the display of the American flag, the symbol of freedom and democracy, at these locations,” DiMaso continued. “Our local police, residents, and veterans will not simply drive by tattered and unsecured flags. They already make efforts to ensure the flags are respectfully maintained and regularly replaced. Sadly, this is what our state has evolved into. We hope that the Governor will override the NJTA’s faulty logic and decision here. If not, we call on our colleagues in the legislature to stand behind our bill and prove that we as New Jerseyans love and respect our country.”
MidJerseyNews reports that the NJ Turnpike Authority has reversed a 19 year long tradition, since September 11, 2001, that allowed American flags to be flown on overpasses.
In Robbinsville, police officers have been maintaining and replacing flags with donations from PBA 344.
PBA 344 members were out on all of the overpasses in Robbinsville Township today replacing tattered or missing American…Posted by Robbinsville Twp PBA #344 on Saturday, August 8, 2020
The Robbinsville PBA is hosting a peaceful protest of the NJ Turnpike Authority’s policy on Friday, September 11, at noon. During the ceremony that will rehang the American flag on overpasses throughout the Township.
The protest will start at Robbinsville Community Park (15 West Manor Way).
Protesters gathered on an overpass in Woodbridge on Saturday to express their displeasure with the NJ Turnpike policy.
Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, a contender for the GOP nomination for Governor next year, took to twitter to call on Governor Phil Murphy to “Let the flags fly!”
Can Gov. Murphy get any more out-of-touch? The American Flag is “a distraction”?!?!? Really, Gov? This is pretty simple. Patriotism is good. Remembering 9/11, honoring our veterans and saluting those who keep us safe is worthwhile. Let the flags fly! https://t.co/FZKlAQ6dy8— Jack Ciattarelli (@Jack4NJ) September 7, 2020