May 15, 2002

The Honorable Casper R. Taylor, Jr.
Speaker of the House
State House
Annapolis MD 21401

Dear Mr. Speaker:

In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed House Bill 1205 - Uniformed State Employees.

House Bill 1205 permits uniformed State employees to attach a symbol of the United States flag to the employee's uniform. Under the legislation, State agencies that employ uniformed employees are required to establish guidelines for wearing the symbol of the U.S. flag, which may include the size, location and form of the symbol.

The sentiments behind House Bill 1205 are laudable in light of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and the desire of Americans, including our uniformed State employees, to show their pride and support for our country. Many State agencies with uniformed employees have policies that permit a symbol of the United States flag to be worn on the uniform. The Department of Maryland State Police and Department of General Services, for example, permit State troopers and DGS police officers to wear the U.S. flag pin. I understand and support the desire of State employees to wear symbols of our country's flag on their uniforms. However, I do not believe we need a law to codify a personnel policy which, in most agencies, already exists. As Governor, I will direct all executive branch agencies that have not already adopted such a policy, to do so.

For the above reason, I have vetoed House Bill 1205.

Parris N. Glendening