Message from the Village of Rhinebeck Board on the POW-MIA flag

In response to numerous requests regarding the status of the POW-MIA flag at the Village Hall, located at 76E. Market street, Rhinebeck, NY. The Village Board is issuing the following statement.

The request was in regard to protocols specific to why we only fly the POW-MIA flag at the Municipal building and do not have our flag lighted at night at the Municipal building.

As with all requests this matter was discussed at our next scheduled board meeting on Feb 27th. During this meeting the board entered into a discussion investigating the protocols for the American flag and the POW-MIA flag. After considerable discussion on the guidelines and with for respect for those Missing in Action and Prisoners of War the board made the following resolution.

During the meeting the Village Board discussed it’s compliance with NYS policy for “Flags on State Office Buildings”. Based on this review it was apparent the Village was inconsistent with the State policy.

1. Our Village National Flag was being flown 24 hours without proper illumination.
2. Our Village POW-MIA Flag was flown 365 days which is in contrasts with State policy

The Village Board voted 4 – 0 with one abstention to immediately adhere to State policy with the contingency that Trustee Traudt, as a member of the Sons of the American Legion to communicate these same issues with the local American Legion. The Board was prepared to listen to the recommendation from Trustee Traudt at the next meeting. To date, that information and feedback has yet to furnished and discussed in a public meeting.

The New York State Office of General Services flag policy:

1. Flags that are illuminated can fly 24 hours per day
2. The POW-MIA flag is to be displayed over all state buildings and facilities on Memorial Day, POW Remembrance Day and Veterans Day. The flag should be displayed beneath the national flag if there is no third staff available.

Shortly after the February 2th meeting the Village replaced a burned-out bulb which restored illumination and assured Village compliancy of this section of the policy

The board also identified that the MIA-POW flag flies at the Village’s American Legion Park at all times at this memorial. The board has determined that it too shall continue to fly the POW-MIA flag while proceeding with its efforts to assure compliancy and create a policy for the Village.

It is also our desire, as the Village board to faithfully exhibit respect for our Veterans and those either missing or prisoners of war and shall restore the POW-MIA flag to the staff at Village Hall.

To that end we also seeking additional alternatives to where the POW-MIA Flag along with the National Flag can be flown at all times in the Village and are looking to work with any organization on this.
Gary Bassett
Village of Rhinebeck
76 East Market St.
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
(845) 876-7015