BROCKTON – A citizen who came to council on May 11 to complain about flags other than Canada’s national flag flying on community flagpole found council agreed with many of his concerns.
Doug Fleet told council taking down the national flag to fly other flags is “an insult to veterans and Canadian citizens.”
Under the municipality’s flag policy, there are occasions when other flags are temporarily flown on the flagpole, at the request of a community group. Staff consulted with Heritage Canada and learned that since it’s a community flagpole and not on federal property, the municipality is free to fly whatever flag it chooses.
Staff had recommended changing the municipality’s policy to fly a municipal flag on the pole, temporarily replacing it with other flags as per the present policy.
At a previous meeting, council had voted against the recommended change, preferring to keep flying the Canadian flag.
Fleet raised the possibility of putting up a second flagpole, something that had been discussed during the earlier meeting.
Said Mayor Chris Peabody, “We‘re willing to look at another flag at budget time, which is in January.” He suggested that if the Royal Canadian Legion wants to raise the issue of a second flagpole, that would be the time to do it. In the meantime, council is continuing to follow its policy and fly the Canadian flag most of the time.
Councillor James Lang told Fleet, “I share your passion regarding the Canadian flag. I’m also a Legion member.” He went on to say he, too, would like to see a second flagpole.
Staff are already looking at the cost of erecting another flagpole, and if there’s room at the present location of the community flagpole.
Coun. Steve Adams suggested the possibility of a flagpole at the community centre for the municipality’s flag and other flags.
Coun. Dean Liefso said the matter of flags had arisen during a previous term of council, meaning it might be worth “investigating another location.”
In closing, the mayor thanked Fleet for his “dedication and service.”
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times