I am proud that Easton raised the Pride flag last weekend. Many other towns and states have done so, and it is a clear expression of the very American values of equality, liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness for an historically marginalized group. Regarding some feedback that we received about the Pride Day ceremony last Friday, some noticed that the Pride flag flew briefly alone over Town Hall.
I’d like to apologize for the oversight of not flying the U.S. flag while the Pride flag was up and explain how this came about. The American flag has never flown over Town Hall on nights or weekends because there are no lights there and the flag is not supposed to be flown after sunset unless it is illuminated. In addition to that, we have never had the staff needed to raise and lower the flag on weekends.
At the time of the Pride ceremony, the American flag had been taken down for the weekend along with our own local flag; and neither was flown below the Pride flag. While we felt confident that others had flown the Pride flag independently in various state capitals, local towns, or on a national level before our ceremony, we can see how you may not have known of our weekend protocols or intentions.
Soon after the ceremony ended, we considered that many of you would appreciate that the American flag remained flying over the weekend. We worked hard to find a solution and took the appropriate measures to keep the flag flying above the Pride flag with help from the Easton Police Department. It remained throughout the weekend, and we are grateful for their help. I take full responsibility for not planning this better. More importantly, I apologize to anybody who felt that what happened was disrespectful to them or to our country.
This interesting predicament has brought about some great discussion and important items of consideration. We need to have a solution in place for the future, and we must consider a possible flag policy moving forward. I welcome the input of our American Legion or Boy and Girl Scouts troops, who may be able to assist with diverse and inclusive flag ceremonies and protocols moving forward. I am also considering the addition of lighting for our flag pole as well.
As humans, we can evolve and continue to do better. As your First Selectman, I will continue to be honest with you and hold myself accountable when I can do better. I am committed to finding solutions, and making this town feel welcoming and inclusive to all of its residents.
David Bindelglass, First Selectman
Town of Easton