Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

December 31, 2012

Index's top ten stories for 2012 - No. 2

Local flag controversy attracts national attention

Mineral Wells Index

— After city council members approved new cemetery regulations this summer, some locals expressed outrage over a prohibition of flags flown on veterans’ grave markers.

The policy stated flags were allowed on veterans’ graves only during two-week periods around Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Local U.S. Army veteran Robert Veach was offended by the regulations, telling the Index his family has a long military heritage and his father, a Navy Seabee, is buried at Woodland Park Cemetery.

While he understood the overall focus on clearing excessive adronments, Veach spoke to regional news sources about his refusal to budge on the flag issue.

“Everything but the flag I’ve already removed,” he said. “I have no problem with that but the flag I can’t give up.”

Local officials responded to the controversy, which was spread across the nation by various news outlets, saying the issue was portrayed inaccurately by some outside of the community.

Council held a public meeting to allow locals to weigh in on the debate and ultimately approved an updated policy allowing the display of flags at grave sites year round, as long as they meet size and placement requirements and remain in good condition.