Letter: The Pride flag is American

Posted 7/1/20

To the editor:

For the past month, I have thoroughly enjoyed driving through town and seeing the vibrant colors of the Pride flag flying along with our nation’s flag. During a time when even …

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Letter: The Pride flag is American

Posted

To the editor:

For the past month, I have thoroughly enjoyed driving through town and seeing the vibrant colors of the Pride flag flying along with our nation’s flag. During a time when even our own country’s flag has been co-opted by fringe movements as a representation of partisanized patriotism, rather than a symbol for us all, I’ve been grateful to know that the beauty of the rainbow helps remind us that we’re all in this together. This is especially true for the version of the flag flying at Town Hall, known as the Philadelphia flag, incorporating black and brown stripes to represent the uniquely challenging struggles of Black and Brown members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

I understand there are some people who have a more restricted view of what should be displayed on a town’s flag pole, including those who believe the US flag should fly alone. I’ve never given much weight to the arguments of exclusivity. I believe we can reach out to and learn from more people through acts of inclusion rather than exclusion. Adorning our flag pole with displays of honor add, in my mind, rather than subtract.

I’m glad that our town hasn’t ascribed to the beliefs of exclusion with regard to our Town Hall flag pole. I know that the POW/MIA flag means a great deal to many, and it flies with Old Glory year-round. And should the Council be asked to be an arbiter of whether any other flags are displayed, I believe firmly that we can do so in a way that balances the first amendment rights of all with the ideals of freedom from oppression.

To those who might find particular offense at the Pride flag, I’d encourage them to look beyond their own views of it as a political symbol or social banner. While it represents the LGBTQIA+ community, the rainbow flag, especially paired with the American flag, reminds each one of us that we are members of a community in which all are free to be who we are and be with whom we love.

“Love is love is love is love is love.” & “Raise a glass to freedom.” - Lin-Manuel Miranda

Jacob Brier

Barrington

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