Rep. Stein Announces House Passage Of Legislation For Flag Retirement Ceremony
H.B. 359 provides retirement guidelines for Ohio's state flags
February 14, 2018
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COLUMBUS—State Representative Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) today announced the passage of legislation he sponsored, House Bill 359, by the Ohio House. H.B. 359 creates voluntary ceremonial procedures for retiring the Ohio state flag with respect and dignity, in the same way such honors are paid to retiring United States flags.

The need for this bill was brought to the attention of Rep. Stein by Brandon Tolle, a Boy Scout pursuing the Eagle Scout rank who realized the disparity between U.S. flag retirement and Ohio state flag retirement.

“Today our Ohio Flag retirement bill passed out the House and will now move to the Senate for consideration,” said Rep. Stein. “I want to give a special thanks to Brandon Tolle of Columbia Station for bringing this bill to us as part of his Eagle Scout Project. I am happy to serve the many fine people of our District and Brandon is an example of the caliber of young people who are a part of our communities.”

The ceremony will be begin by separating the flag into six pieces. Following that, ceremony participants will recite a preamble and a pledge, for which wording is provided within the bill. The preamble was written by Tolle and honors the flag’s traditional significance and the historical events to which it has born witness, such as the tragic assassination of Ohioan and U.S. President William McKinley. Lastly, participants are to retire each individual piece of the flag by fire.

The state of Ohio became part of the Union in 1803, and did not have an official flag until 1902. Through H.B. 359, long-overdue retirement guidelines will create a way to respectfully retire the symbol that has now represented Ohioans for over a century.

Having passed out of the House, House Bill 359 now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

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