The first US flag bridge under the new NJ policy rises in Middletown

MIDDLETOWN – With no apparent permanent solution yet to be agreed upon, a group of veterans from this Monmouth County town has become the first to apply for and receive a permit to display American flags on an overpass on a road in the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

NJ.com reported that the Middletown Veterans Committee installed two US flags on the Garden State Parkway in Red Hill Road on Wednesday. Two is the maximum number allowed on overpass fences under a temporary policy adopted by the Turnpike Authority over a year ago, with no updates being announced since.

The flag controversy erupted just before the 19th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the summer of 2020, when the Turnpike Authority admitted to removing flags from Woodbridge, Robbinsville and other places along the Turnpike and the Parkway for safety reasons. .

At the time, PBA President Patrick Colligan said some of the flags dated back to the hours immediately following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

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The actions of the Turnpike Authority angered local police unions and veterans groups. Governor Phil Murphy told Harry Hurley of sister station WPG Talk Radio from New Jersey 101.5 in Atlantic City that he was unaware of the flag being removed in advance and asked Turnpike Authority staff to stop it.

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Perhaps due to the lack of clearly stated standing rules, individuals and groups have continued to attempt to independently place flags on overpasses over the past year, including a group in Sayreville in the spring.

The current policy request form can be found on the Turnpike Authority website, with a link to view the policy and process. Interested parties can also send an email to [email protected]

Patrick Lavery is the anchor for the New Jersey 101.5 afternoon news. Follow it on Twitter @ plavery1015 or send an email to [email protected]

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