The Mineral Wells City Council was flagged by the families of veterans after the Texas city decided to ban people from placing flags on graves.
In late June, the council decided that flags could not be in the cemetery other than during the two weeks before and after Memorial Day and Veterans Day. It also determined that teddy bears have to be removed 21 days after a funeral, and flowers cannot be on a grave unless they are in a vase.
The town says no disrespect is meant.
“This community has had a very long history — tradition — with the military, with Camp Wolters and then Fort Wolters for many, many years,” said City Manager Lance Howerton. “As a result of that, we have a heritage of military involvement in our community. I think they were trying not to be insensitive at all.”
The families of veterans have put up a fight, arguing that the deceased would want their graves donned with the flag they served.
“When a veteran tells you they love the flag more than life itself, they mean it,” said Robert Veach, an Army veteran whose father is buried at Woodland Park Cemetery in Mineral Wells. “It’s a symbol of the country; we can’t let it go without a fight. We can’t.”
The town will meet on July 10 to discuss the issue again.