SPRINGFIELDState parks are now required to fly the United States, Illinois, and prisoner of war/missing in action flags under a new law spearheaded by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea).

“Walking in the park one day, I overheard a boy ask his grandfather what the three flags waving in the wind were for,” Belt said. “The grandfather pointed to the U.S. flag and said ‘That represents the best nation in the world.’ He continued to the Illinois flag and replied ‘This is for the best state in our country.’ Lastly, he pointed to the POW/MIA flag and said ‘The individuals this flag represents is why the U.S. and Illinois flags are flown today.’”

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The new law requires Illinois Department of Natural Resources to fly a United States, Illinois and POW/MIA flag at all state parks within five years after it is signed into law. Additionally, the legislation allows for groups and individuals to donate resources to the department’s Special Projects Fund to cover any costs.

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“These three flags tell a story of our nation’s history,” Belt said. “Flags serve as a reminder of the sacrifices service members have made over the countless decades for our freedom.”

There are over 100 state parks in Illinois. For a list of all state parks, visit the IDNR website.

Public Act 102-0388 took effect Jan. 1.

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