ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – One New Jersey police department went on a mission this summer to take inventory and to replace all the aging, tattered and worn out American flags adorning overpasses on Interstate 195 and the New Jersey Turnpike. The Robbinsville PBA, last month purchased over a dozen American flags to replace those that were either missing or tattered on the overpasses covering the New Jersey Turnpike and I-195. They had begun to replace the flags, but now, they have been ordered to stop.
They had hoped to complete the task before the 19th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks against America.
Now, not only have they been told to cease and desist by the Murphy Administration’s New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the authority is now removing flags from all highway overpasses, including the newly replaced flags.
“The amount of support we received via social media and throughout town was incredible, and our post reached nearly 8,000 viewers. The reason we decided to replace the flags was to continue the tradition of honoring our veterans and those lost in service for our country. American flags have been flown on overpasses throughout the state and throughout the nation since 9/11,” the PBA said. “Now, as we approach the anniversary of that horrific day, we are extremely disappointed to announce that the NJ Turnpike Authority saw fit to remove all flags on overpasses covering the N.J.T.P. last week, replacing them with signs citing N.J.A.C. 19:9-1.13. This is a code which is meant to apply to advertisement material or improper road signage. We cannot understand why the N.J.T.P.A. has suddenly decided to abandon a tradition of patriotism and respect for our veterans. It is not known what happened to the brand new flags that we put up, but we truly hope they were respectfully disposed of, if not displayed elsewhere.”
The flags that we placed on the overpasses were firmly secured, and it was the P.B.A.’s full intention to continue maintaining them, to ensure proper respect was given. They did not impede traffic and did not obstruct visibility for passing motorists. The placement of the flags was done in the same manner that has been done for nearly twenty years.
“I have written to the Director of Relations at the N.J.T.P.A. and hope to have a reason for the unexplained action soon. If any share in our disappointment at the removal of the flags, please feel free to write/call their office (firstname.lastname@example.org / (732)750-5300),” the PBA said, urging residents to call to fight to get the flags back.
Photos by Robbinsville PBA show police officers replacing flags and properly disposing of the old flags.