God removed from Capitol Flag Certificates-Truth!

Religious References Removed from Flag Certificates at the National’s Capitol-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

The eRumor says that the man occupying the office of the Architect of the Capitol has ordered that certificates of authenticity that accompany ceremonial flags flown over the capitol not include any religious terminology even if the persons requesting the certificate ask for it.

The Truth:

One of the common practices in Washington is requesting a flag that has flown over the capitol to be presented to a citizen on some special occasion.  It has been estimated that about 100,000 of them are requested and granted each year.

Along with the flag is a certificate that authenticates that the flag really did fly over the capitol.  The certificate also includes the name of the person receiving the flag, the occasion on which it was presented, and a brief comment submitted by the person who made the request.

This forwarded email, which was sent by the American Family Association (AFA), says that the certificates of authenticity cannot include any religious language or references to God.

An article in the Washington Post from October 6, 2007 goes into more detail about the issue.

Both the AFA and the Washington post tell stories about intended presentations of flags to war veterans but whose certificates did not include references to God, which had been submitted with the requests for the flags.

The AFA release puts the blame on the Architect of the Capitol, Steven Ayers.  According to the Post, Ayer’s office told Rep. Michael R. Turner of Ohio that the rules say that religious expressions are not permitted on flag certificates. 

Republicans have complained to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the rule should not be construed as meaning that the word “God” cannot be used.

Updated 10/10/07