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Idaho Falls Council seeks flag policy input

Idaho Falls is moving to adopt a new flag policy before Veteran’s Day.

Last summer, the city of Idaho Falls made a decision not to hoist the black and white POW/MIA Awareness flag at city hall or at other official city flag poles located at the Idaho Falls Airport and Water Tower. That decision was quickly rescinded until an official flag policy could be adopted.

City policy currently allows the national, state, and city flag to be flown at its designated locations. The city seal is being used as Idaho Falls official flag.

City Attorney Randy Fife told city councilmen this week that there are some constitutional questions that could arise around what flags may be flown where and when.

The city is now formally reviewing three resolutions. The first identifies which flags may be allowed on city-owned flag poles. The second would specifically allow the POW-MIA flag at specific times and places. The third resolution would formally establish the city seal as Idaho Falls official flag.

You can see the flag policy resolutions here.

While there’s little objection to the POW/MIA flag, the council is concerned that without an established policy in place, some other organization may claim a right to fly its flag on city poles and create new legal challenges.

Under an initial proposal, flying of the POW/MIA flag would be specifically allowed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year at:

War Veterans Memorial on Memorial Drive
Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Freeman Park

The POW MIA flag would be allowed at City Hall on:

Armed Forces Day (3rd Saturday in May)
Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
Flag Day (June 14)
Independence Day (July 4)
National POW/MIA Recognition Day (3rd Friday in September)
Veterans Day (November 11)

The city council plans to take public comment on the resolutions for the next two weeks, before taking it to an official vote November 8.

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