#FedFlags: If killed on the job, should federal workers be presented a flag?

My full blog post for The Washington Post’s Federal Eye is here: http://wapo.st/q0vfUa

Congress was on track to weigh a bill that would authorize having a flag presented to the families of federal workers killed on the job. But that bill is stalled as the American Legion and some right wing bloggers are opposing it, saying, among other things, that it would dilute the symbolism of presenting a flag to military members killed in action.

Are you surprised it’s become so controversial? Read my blog post and see what the twitterverse response has been here and Joe Davidson’s Federal Diary column, which contains more details about the bill and the opposition to it, here.

Also, post thoughts on Twitter using #FedFlags.

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Sterling Whitehead

Fascinating concept.

I remember in the early 2000s when the Army authorized all soldiers, not just Green Berets, to wear berets. The argument against it was the same: having everyone wear berets dilutes the impact of berets for the Green Berets.

That being said, I don’t know how many fed civilians die while on the job per year nor do I know the original purpose of the American flag being place on soldiers’ coffines. It is assumed to represent a grateful nation, but that’s an assumption, and assumptions, well, you know the old saying.

Tamara Lamb-Ghenee

Part of the oath of office all Federal employees take states, “support and defend the constitution of the United States against all ememies, foreign and domestic”. FBI, ATF, State Department and other Federal employees put thier lives on the line just as members of the military do in defending our country and upholding its laws. Why should their sacrifice be seen as less worthy of our recognition?

Allison Primack

I posted this as a poll on GovLoop’s Facebook, and these were the results:

11 people – No, it would dilute the symbolism of presenting a flag to military members

9 people – Yes, because they died serving our country

4 people – Only if it occurs as a result of military operations, or while assigned overseas

2 people – No, then it should apply to anyone who works in government

Ed Albetski

Do members of the house and the senate get flags? Federal workers should be treated the same as members of congress as we both share duties in our adversarial system. We, the Federal workers try to accomplish the goals of government while CONgress (the opposite of PROgress) works to impede them.

Natalie Jennings

@Ed, I don’t know the answer to whether Senators or House members receive flags. I have never heard of it happening but that would be interesting to find out.

@Allison that’s a pretty even split. Our Twitter responses were similarly divided between “absolutely not” and “yes of course” and lots of in-between.

I wonder if the debate will continue or if it will remain in a holding pattern. I could see it becoming very divisive among Members of Congress – which would be ironic!