The Washington Post

One group’s Flag Day wish: Flags for feds who died in the line of duty

Saturday is Flag Day, and the Federal-Postal Coalition has seized upon the annual observance to urge the Office of Personnel Management to issue final regulations for providing flags to the survivors of civil servants who lost their lives on the job.

Congress unanimously passed legislation in 2011 that authorized agencies to present U.S. flags to the beneficiaries of civilian federal workers killed in the line of duty. More than two years later, OPM still has not finalized regulations to go along with the law.


A young boy approaches a large U.S. flag placed near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where memorial services were held throughout the Memorial Day weekend, on May 24, 2014. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post )

OPM spokeswoman Brittney Manchester noted that the agency has issued guidance on the matter, adding that agencies do not have to wait for clearance of the final regulations to present flags to appropriate beneficiaries.  

Nonetheless, the Federal-Postal Coalition, which represents employees and retirees of the federal government and U.S. Postal Service, said the agency needs to finish the rule-making process.

“Members of the civilian federal and postal workforce risk their lives to carry out official duties and are critical to executing agencies’ foreign and domestic missions,” the group said in a statement on Friday. “Providing a flag recognizes these employees for their valor and dedication to their agency, and most importantly, to the people of the United States.”

The coalition said at least 20 civil servants have lost their lives at work in the past year. A few examples of such employees who died in recent years include:

* J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was killed during the 2012 attack on an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

* Postal Service carrier Tyson Barnette, who was fatally shot in November while delivering mail in Maryland’s Prince George’s County.

* Federal corrections officer Eric Williams, who was killed in February 2013 by a prison inmate in Pennsylvania.

Flag Day is a patriotic observance commemorating the adoption of the U.S. flag, which happened on June 14 in 1777. It is not an official federal holiday, but presidents generally issue an annual proclamation to recognize the event.

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks(at)washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye and The Fed Page for more federal news. Submit news tips and suggestions to federalworker@washpost.com.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The New Hampshire primary is today. Get caught up on the race.
What to expect in the New Hampshire primary
The Post's Philip Bump says ...
Since he proclaimed that he'd win New Hampshire last summer, Bernie Sanders has seen a swing of about 50 points in his direction. Impressive. But not as impressive as the guy on the other side of the political aisle. Donald Trump has led the Republican field in New Hampshire for almost 200 days, and has held a lead in 51 straight live-caller polls -- every poll stretching back to last July.
The feminist appeal may not be working for Clinton
In New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders is beating Clinton among women by eight percentage points, according to a new CNN-WMUR survey. This represents a big shift from the results last week in the Iowa caucuses, where Clinton won women by 11 points.
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She left the state Sunday to go to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
56% 41%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.