A flap this week over the flags flying over the state prison in Newton might lead to new rules for displaying the Stars and Stripes. Fifty-five-year-old prison guard Dean Boston died June 9th of a heart attack, while on guard duty. His colleagues wanted the U-S and State of Iowa flags over the Newton prison to be lowered to half-staff the day of his funeral. Governor Tom Vilsack ordered the Iowa flag to be flown at half-staff, but the Governor only has authority to lower the U-S flag to honor “government officials.” AFSCME president Jan Corderman leads the union which represents prison guards, and she hopes to expand Vilsack’s authority over U-S flags flown in Iowa. Corderman plans to submit her idea to state and federal officials. Corderman says prison guards provide a public service which should be honored when they fall in the line of duty.
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