A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Flags at City Hall: Issue returns to life

Written October 11th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

The U.S. and Oregon flags flutter in the breeze over Albany City Hall on July 9, 2023.

Albany may face a renewed discussion about what flags other than the traditional ones to display at City Hall.

Near the conclusionn of the public portion of the city council meeting Wednesday night, Councilwoman Marilyn Smith brought up the subject of flags.

Last spring, she had supported a compromise city policy that allowed for special flags to be displayed, though not flown on the pole outside City Hall because the pole has room for only the American and Oregon flags.

The policy allowed a “gay pride” rainbow flag to be displayed in the large window facing the plaza outside City Hall during June.

On Wednesday, Smith said she had changed her mind and now would like the city to follow what the state does. Oregon says that at state buildings, the American and Oregon flags are flown as well as, if there’s room, the MIA-POW flag. No special flags are allowed.

Smith said the U.S. and state flags represent everybody in Oregon and there’s no need for other flags, so she’s like the council to undo what it did last spring.

Councilwoman Matilda Novak said she agreed with Smith.

Other members, though, wanted to wait to discuss it until Councilwoman Steph Newton is in the room. Newton attended part of Wednesday’s session remotely.

It was Newton who in May proposed that the pride flag be added to the City Hall pole during June, and the council majority voted to do so.

The city manager, though, later proposed a compromise, which resulted in the pride flag to be posted in the window during the month, along with the POW banner.

This may come up again at a future meeting if Smith follows through, but no date was set.

10 responses to “Flags at City Hall: Issue returns to life”

  1. Sherry says:

    The 2 flags should always fly. If a banner is used: fyi,gay pride month, then there should be one for Brest cancer month etc,etc,etc.
    As someone else said, it is not feasible.

  2. hpeg13@gmail.com says:

    No Flags other than the American, Oregon and MIA.

  3. david pulver says:

    american flag and a state flag. anything more than that will become another disturbance. and it seems to me that is what albany wants. peace in this town is not albanys goal here. i proudly attach my name with my replies. i am proud to be american. .

  4. Suebee says:

    Mount a separate pole and fly what flag of the month you want… problem solved!

    I’m still amazed how much time is wasted on frivolous concerns our city council wastes time on…but they can have closed door “secret” sessions from the public… make decisions that will directly affect thousands of its taxpayers money (two million dollar bus barn come to mind?) in a slam dunk vote of approval…but a flag (I’m betting the issue is the Pride flag in particular that is getting stuck in their craw) is mulled over and argued about.

    • MarK says:

      Another flagpole would be at the taxpayers expense. I, for one, don’t want my taxes paying for something to display a “special interest” groups symbol of wokeness.

  5. thomas earl cordier says:

    Once again special interests get special interests. Thank you Marilyn and Matilda.
    LGBTQ advocates are a politically active force and a PAC-Political Action Committee which seeks contributions broadly and funds their efforts to gain acceptance.
    PAC flags should not be allowed as commemorative flags. PAC flags do not conform to existing flag policy

  6. Sonamata says:

    Did they talk about this after they solved the city’s affordable housing and infrastructure issues? The flags flying outside a building few people actually interact with has little material impact on residents’ quality of life. Low priority.

  7. Brandon says:

    They should fly the pride flag because it is a symbol of inclusivity and as a gay person in this city, it makes me feel welcome in a world that isn’t very accepting of the LGBTQ+ community. Sorry it hurts your feelings to see it flown.

    • MarK says:

      Would you feel the same way if a couple devil worshippers wanted to fly a satanic flag? Enough patronizing all these crybabies who want attention.

    • Martin says:

      If you represented a moral and wholesome segment as a majority of the population you would feel welcomed, with or without a flag. Do not push your ungodly lifestyle into the mainstream. Keep it in the bedroom. Our country is falling apart because of moral and ethical decay and pandering to ungodly influence.


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