Metro-East News

St. Clair County looks to require Pledge of Allegiance at commission, board meetings

At the beginning of a St. Clair County Zoning Board of Appeals meeting or Public Building Commission meeting, there generally is a roll call of members and a request for public comment.

Under a proposed ordinance, each of those meetings, plus other county meetings would include the Pledge of Allegiance.

St. Clair County officials are considering an ordinance to require the Pledge of Allegiance be recited at county commission and board meetings.

According to the proposed ordinance, there is no common protocol regarding the Pledge of Allegiance at each official meeting.

The proposed ordinance was tabled on Monday by the county board as the county ensures there is an American Flag in every room where a county meeting takes place.

“I think this is good; I think we need to make this part of this ordinance that an American flag be installed in every meeting place,” said Chairman Mark Kern.

“In the past, the Pledge of Allegiance has been done to people’s lapel pins or pictures on the wall,” Kern added. “We want to make sure when we do this, it’s done in the right fashion.”

County Board Members Frank Heiligenstein and Ed Cockrell proposed the rule.

Cockrell said waiting to make sure flags were physically in place wasn’t necessary.

“Most of these are committees, are not in this courthouse or not on county property,” Cockrell said. “Most of these are fire districts and water districts... Most of those probably have an American flag. This is just making sure the protocol is established that the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag is done here. I think it’s a matter of respect. It’s not a matter of telling everybody go out and buy a flag, unless the county wants to buy a flag for all these places.”

Contact reporter Joseph Bustos at jbustos@bnd.com or 618-239-2451. Follow him on Twitter: @JoeBReporter.

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