Barrington veterans proposing flag-flying policy

Members of Barrington UVC expected to speak at council meeting

By Josh Bickford
Posted 9/11/20

Members of the Barrington United Veterans Council are planning to submit a new flag policy at Monday night's town council meeting.

Paul Dulchinos, the president of the Barrington UVC, released a …

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Barrington veterans proposing flag-flying policy

Members of Barrington UVC expected to speak at council meeting

Posted

Members of the Barrington United Veterans Council are planning to submit a new flag policy at Monday night's town council meeting.

Paul Dulchinos, the president of the Barrington UVC, released a copy of the proposed policy on Friday afternoon, Sept. 11. He said that other towns in Bristol County have adopted similar policies regarding which flags to fly.

The proposed policy would allow for the town to only fly the state flag, the town flag and/or the POW/MIA flag beneath the American flag on the town hall flag pole.

"… this language is also in compliance with the much celebrated DOD Flag Policy recently implemented by the current Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper," said Mr. Dulchinos.

The proposed policy is the latest chapter in an ongoing debate of flag-flying in Barrington.

In June, Barrington officials flew the Pride flag from the town hall pole beneath the American flag in honor of Pride month. Members of the Barrington UVC penned a letter expressing their opposition to that move.

Then late last month, Barrington Town Manager Jim Cunha raised the Black Lives Matter flag beneath the American flag. Mr. Cunha said no one requested that the Black Lives Matter flag be raised, but he was expecting that it was just a matter of time before someone did so.

(His decision to raise the flag appears to run counter to the town council's approach to flag requests. About a month ago members of the council discussed drafting a flag policy, but eventually decided that if someone wanted to fly a flag other than the American flag on the town hall pole, all he or she needed to do is request it through a council member. Mr. Cunha said he did not discuss with any council members his decision to raise the Black Lives Matter flag on the town hall pole.)

More recently, a group of residents formerly requested that the town raise the "Back the Blue" flag on the town hall flag pole. The council is expected to discuss that request on Monday night.

Mr. Dulchinos said members of the Barrington UVC are also expecting to speak on the flag issue on Monday night.

Following is a copy of the proposed policy:

"It is the policy of the Town of Barrington (“Town”) to raise the official Flag of the United States of America on the Town Hall flagpole and other municipally owned flagpoles. It is also the policy of the Town to raise the flag of the State of Rhode Island, the Prisoner of War (POW/MIA) and the Town of Barrington beneath the United States flag or on a separate flagpole in accordance with the United States Flag Code (Title 4, United States Code) and accepted flag etiquette.  The following requirements shall apply:

"No flag shall be larger than the United States Flag.

"All flags shall be free of rips and tears, clean and in good condition.

"The United States flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.  If the flag is not lit, it may only be displayed between sunrise and sunset.

"Flags should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when all weather flags are displayed.

"If ordered by the President of the United States, the Governor of the State of Rhode Island or the President of the Town Council, all flags must be lowered to comply with the U.S. Flag Code.

"The flag poles located in front of Town Hall and those located on any municipally owned building or property shall only fly the United States Flag, the flag of the State of Rhode Island, the POW flag (POW/MIA) and the flag of the Town of Barrington."

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