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Texas town rethinking ordinance limiting flags on veterans' graves after outcry

The City Council of a town in North Texas is rethinking a local ordinance limiting flags on veterans' graves after an outcry from local veterans and residents.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the Mineral Wells City Council passed the ordinance on June 19 saying flags would only be allowed on graves in the Woodland Park Cemetery for a week before and after Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

The ordinance bans any mementos on graves that are not in an 'appropriate receptacle,' such as a vase. City Clerk Juanita Formby says this means the city is not completely banning flags, just regulating them.

"A person could probably place a flag 365 days a year if it was in an approved container, such as a vase," Formby said in a telephone interview with The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Dennis Sinks, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2399 in Mineral Wells, tells The Fort Worth Star-Telegram the council should revoke the ordinance, noting his VFW branch often places flags on the graves of local veterans.

"They are disrespectful to all deceased veterans and all veterans who have served this country," he said.

Formby claims the ordinance was passed because there were too many mementos being left at graves, and they were becoming a hazard to the maintenance staff. 

The city has agreed to revisit the ordinance in a special meeting on July 10 due to local outcry.

Click for more from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.