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Pride Flag on VA Hospital Sparks Debate

Pride Flag on VA Hospital Sparks Debate


A gay pride flag hanging on a VA hospital in Albany, N.Y., has raised questions about whether nonofficial flags may be flown on federal buildings.

According to the Albany Times Union, the Stratton VA Medical Center is one of 40 groups in the state capital area that agreed to fly the flag in honor of Gay Pride Month and the 40th anniversary of the founding of the city's LGBT community center.

However, at least one patient has asked whether the hospital should fly flags other than ones that relate strictly to the government.

Pat Lasher, who served in the Navy from 1971 to 1975, including 10 months in Vietnam, says he "thought a law or code forbids display of banners other than the American and MIA-POW flags on federal buildings," the Times Union reported. "But there's no evidence of that, and a local attorney, a federal buildings property manager, and others said they knew of no such restriction."

Some nearby institutions, such as the state university and federal buildings, fly only flags that represent the government, according to the Times Union.

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