Ala. gov intervenes, soldier to get state flag

August 31, 2011 - 11:55 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama soldier is getting a state flag to display while he's serving in Afghanistan after the governor's staff initially refused to send it.

The Birmingham News reported Wednesday (http://bit.ly/nCcFA6) that the office of Gov. Robert Bentley told the soldier it couldn't afford to give away flags. The flags can cost as little as $11.

Bentley's office issued a statement later saying the governor didn't know about the policy, and the staff is now sending a flag to Army Sgt. 1st Class Howard J. Blake Jr. Bentley also is ordering a change in policy to let service members get free state flags if they're located in combat zones.

Bentley is a veteran, and he says the policy against sending flags to troops made no sense.

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Information from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews