Senate committee kills flag pole bill - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Senate committee kills flag pole bill

Harold Alejandro Harold Alejandro
Sen. Rosalyn Baker Sen. Rosalyn Baker
Sen. Fred Hemmings Sen. Fred Hemmings

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Retired U.S. Air Force Sgt. Howard Littell earned his service insignia between 1957 and 1965.

Harold Alejandro's commendations came in Iraq.

Wednesday morning in a state capitol committee room, both men laid them down.

"I present to you my Vietnam ribbons and a small version of the United States of America flag.

Littell, Alejandro, and several other veterans wanted House Bill 2311 to get a hearing.

It would have forced community associations to allow residents to put up flag poles on their property without paying fees or fines and to fly the American flag 365 days a year.

The bill survived a skirmish in the House and drew veterans to the capitol carrying their flags.

But in spite of testimony urging the Senate committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection to hear the bill, committee chair Sen. Rosalyn Baker, D-5th (S. Maui, W. Maui), offered a resolution.

"It's more of a gesture. To us that's not enough," Alejandro said.

Baker said her resolution highlites the values that are symbolized by the flag and the bill would be repetitive.

"This bill is superfluous and unnecessary because the right of homeowners in planned community associations to display the American flag is protected under federal law," she said.

The vote was five to one to pass the resolution. Sen. Fred Hemmings, R-25th (Kailua, Lanikai), was the lone no vote.

"There is federal law that protects people's rights to display the flag and I thought that should be affirmed by state law, not by resolution," he said.

The veterans who left their awards behind left them in protest.

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