BOS: Town Common Flag Pole Shouldn’t Be An Exclusionary Device

To the Editor,

Recently, there has been some discussion about the disposition of the town flagpole on the Town Common.  Currently, the town does not have a written policy with regard to the flagpole, though the topic has been discussed in past years.  This year has seen changes to the flagpole as a result of the Town Common renovation project.  At the last regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen, the Board discussed policy and logistics issues surrounding the updated flagpole for the first time, as the matter came up in the Town Administrator’s report.  The Board was of the opinion that the flagpole should either be available for equal access for any group requesting to fly a flag, or should be limited to just the American flag, lest the flagpole become an exclusionary device.  The Board felt that the flagpole should be reserved for the American flag only, and asked Town staff to provide other options for other flags to petitioners.  Thus far, this has been the limit of Board level discussion and decision making on the topic.  We are aware that there have been various communications between individuals on the subject, but those communications do not make or define policy.

The Board has supported, and continues to support our LGBTQ community, as we would hope is evidenced by four of five board members (it would have been five, but one member had a funeral to attend) being present at the ceremony last Saturday on the Town Common, not to mention the fact that I personally spoke at that ceremony in support of the community.

Eli Boling - Chair, Board of Selectmen