Senator Jim Webb introduced the Blue Star/Gold Star Flag Act of 2010 to ensure the continued freedom of military families to honor our men and women in uniform. The Blue and Gold Star flag, also known as the Service flag, is authorized by the Department of Defense (DOD) for immediate family members of individuals serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during a period of war or hostilities. Each blue star on the flag represents a family member currently serving, and each gold star represents a family member who lost his or her life in combat. Senator Webb’s bill would prohibit any condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association from preventing a resident from displaying the Service flag on personal residential property.
Webb, a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, serves on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee.
“This legislation creates reasonable legal protections to ensure military families can honor their loved ones’ service no matter where they live,” said Senator Webb. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to join me in demonstrating our continued commitment to our men and women in uniform and their families.”
Last year, Marlene Gano was asked by her condominium association to remove the Service flag she placed in her window in honor of her son who served in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and again in 2003 for his year-long service in Iraq, where he suffered injuries twice from roadside bombs. While the board of the condominium association later made an exception for Ms. Gano's Blue Star Flag, this case and others like it demonstrate the need for the legal protections Senator Webb’s legislation would provide.
In December 2009, Senator Webb similarly called for a homeowners association in Henrico County to allow a decorated combat veteran, Colonel Van Barfoot, to install a flagpole in the yard of his home for purposes of displaying the American flag.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) have endorsed Senator Webb’s legislation.
“We thank Senator Webb for pushing this important legislation which protects the families of deployed service members and those who gave their lives for America.,” said Tom Tarantino, Legislative Associate at the IAVA. “These families have earned the right to honor the service and sacrifice of their loved ones.”