The Veterans Affairs Department has clarified a directive limiting the use of a religious recitation at flag-folding ceremonies after it sparked an uproar among some veterans and Republican House members.
In a memo last month to directors of the agency's 125 cemeteries, a senior VA official said they should not distribute or post handouts on "The Meaning of Each Fold of an Honor Guard Funeral Flag."
The memo also said the nongovernment handout and its religious references should not be used as a script at committal services by cemetery workers or by VA-sponsored volunteer honor guards.
House members have introduced a resolution condemning a policy that would ban the recitations entirely, and dozens of lawmakers wrote to the VA demanding that any such policy be rescinded.
A VA spokeswoman now says volunteer honor guards may recite any text requested by next of kin.