Oh say can you see

Maybe it's because my brother was born on Flag Day, naturally leading to many flag-themed birthday parties, that the flag has always been special and prominent in my life.

Maybe it's because my brother served in the first Gulf War, and my mother protested that war, that I deeply understand the complicated and nuanced feelings different people – and one person – can have about the country, the flag and patriotism.

Maybe it's because when I was in elementary school at Mark's Meadow, we had both a gala Bicentennial celebration and classmates who routinely left the room during the Pledge of Allegiance, that I understand that such divergent views can be understood and accommodated.

Maybe it's because I've been back in Amherst for 12 years and witnessed much local political drama that I believe the best solution is sometimes not either/or, but both.

Not everyone is happy with the Select Board's compromise to fly the commemorative flags on September 11th every three years, nor would everyone have been happy with a decision to fly them every year or never. Rather than look at this decision as making nobody happy, I look at it as making everybody happy some of the time. Isn't that what compromise is all about? And isn't that the least we can do for each other?

I'm proud of that decision and I appreciate that Gerry initiated it.


Larry Kelley said:

The former Czar is already gone and 'His Lordship' is destined to go in 2010. We will see what a normal Select Board has to say then.

YourAdmirer said:

I heard a lot of folks from all different sides commend you for embracing this
creative compromise. What I don't understand is why some people don't realize
that a triennial observance makes this event all the more a special. Let's hope
future Select Boards will respect the precedent of this policy, and not undertake
any revision lightly. A job well done... in the home of the brave!

Ed Cutting said:

Way back in '01 or '02 -- during the various "interesting" meetings over this, a promise was made (by a prior selectboard) that the US flag flying outside town hall would be "properly displayed" as soon as the town got around to it.

Well, last I saw, the flag was still tacked to a windowsill in the manner that raised the concern back then. Technically "proper display" includes the POW flag (that is in the Mass Public Buildings Regs) and is on a proper pole and such. And you probably ought to have the Commonwealth's flag beside it because that is how it is done, although I can't see why you can't put all three up on the same pole.

The selectboard said it would be done. The minutes (and video) are out there somewhere -- I was there and heard it, I think Larry Kelly was too along with others.

So at some point, this probably ought to be done...

Anon said:

I can't believe we still have the UN flag up. Give me a break!

Mary Carey said:

Love the photos!



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