(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Daniel Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex) called for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to reconsider its recent decision to remove American flags from highway overpasses that have been maintained by law enforcement and veterans for decades.
In a letter sent to the Turnpike Authority on Tuesday, Benson disputed the decision to remove the flags that the agency deems in violation of advertising regulations. He noted that flags have long been a symbol America’s resilience and take deeper meaning during times of crisis, particularly now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Especially in light of the upcoming anniversary and observance of 9/11, as an important reminder and symbol of hope, unity, justice and the strength of our democracy, the American flag has always been a reflection of these values for our state and our country,” wrote Benson, who serves as chair of the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee.
To protect this practice going forward, Assemblyman Benson will introduce legislation to allow law enforcement and veterans organizations to display and maintain American flags on highway overpasses in coordination with the Turnpike Authority.
“In times of prosperity and crisis, we must always hold our flag high and fight to protect all it represents,” said Benson. “The officers and veterans who maintain flags on state highways are looking to remind us of this great symbol of democracy. Their work should be celebrated.”
Assemblyman Benson’s letter to the Turnpike Authority is attached.