BEAVER (KDKA) — Beaver County is reinforcing a law already on the books after complaints about flags being removed by cemetery workers too soon.

There have been several complaints at some of the 36 cemeteries throughout the county.

So, letters went out from the county solicitor’s office indicating that cemeteries removing county-provided flags from veterans’ graves before the July 4th holiday would be fined $300 or face up to 90 days in jail.

“The purpose of this is not to punish,” said Bernard Rabik, the assistant solicitor of Beaver County. “The purpose is to make sure that those graves deserve the respect that they should under the law, even if one person complains that’s enough.”

Although Beaver County felt the need to mail out certified letters to all of its cemeteries, flags or markers on the graves of veterans is a state law. In fact, it has been a federal act since 1915.

At Beaver Cemetery and Mausoleum where more than 2,700 veterans are buried, there doesn’t seem to be a problem with flags being removed.

“Actually, we don’t remove flags at this cemetery, we allow them to remain up till Veterans Day in November,” said Victor Stahl, the cemetery’s manager.

The reason cemeteries give for removing the flags is maintenance.

They remove them to mow grass, but the law says if you take them down, you must put them back up.

“Our cemetery allows monuments and planting, so we have special lawn mowers to do that so flags are the least of our problems,” said Stahl.

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