The town has approved the raising of the Pride flag on a newly purchased flagpole to fly in front of Town Hall during Pride Month in June.
The Board of Selectman in December approved spending $2,390 for the separate pole. Referred to as a nautical pole, the new pole will be attached to the main pole in front of Town Hall. It features a crossbar that allows the U.S flag to fly on top and the Pride flag to fly below. There is room for two additional flags on the new nautical pole.
The purchase and installation of the new pole is seen as an ideal compromise not only for members and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community, but also for those in town who took issue with the Pride flag flying on the same pole under the American flag during previous Pride Month celebrations. Some felt that the town flagpole should be reserved only for the American flag, Connecticut state flag and Easton Town flag.
“I think it’s a wonderful decision as it ensures the U.S. flag code is followed with the U.S. flag placed at the center and highest point of the group of flags,” said Hilary Desmond, a local Pride Month organizer.
Desmond asked the Board of Selectman for permission to raise the Pride flag in front of Town Hall for the month of June during Pride Month this year and again next year. The Board of Selectman agreed.
The Pride flag will be raised on June 1 in observance of Pride Month and fly throughout the month and the same in 2023 as well. Previous Pride Month events have featured the flag raising as part of a program of activities highlighting local pride resources, pride books, yard games and music in celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.
John Brannelly, who donated the pride flag that has flown during previous Pride Month celebrations in Easton, hopes the new flagpole could also be used for other annual town events.
“It is imperative that Easton stand in solidarity with all our LGBTQ2S community and celebrate our solidarity out loud,” Brannelly said in email. “Raising the pride flag during Pride Month is an ‘out loud’ symbol, that as a community, as your elected officials, we not only ‘accept’ the LGBTQ2S community, but that we celebrate and stand in deep pride of our community.”
First Selectman David Bindelglass said flying the Pride flag separately from the main flag pole “is done in a number of towns around us as well.”
State Representative Anne Hughes, who has attended Pride Month celebrations in town, said flying the pride flag in Easton is full of symbolism.
“It says I’m proud to defend those who are threatened by attempts to restrict representation,” she said.