A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Move to hoist ‘Pride’ flag shot down

Written May 22nd, 2023 by Hasso Hering

The U.S. and Oregon flags at City Hall Monday evening. You can see how a third flag below them could get snagged on the metal rim of the roof.

Looks like there won’t be a “Pride” flag on the pole in front of Albany City Hall next month after all.

On May 10, four of the six council members voted to approve Councilor Stephanie Newton’s motion to fly a donated “Pride” flag outside of City Hall during June, which advocates for the cause of gay rights recognize as “Pride Month.” Councilor Marilyn Smith voted “no” and Councilor Matilda Novak didn’t vote.

City Manager Peter Troedsson had been on vacation when the council took its vote. Now he’s back, and at the council’s work session Monday, he poured cold water on the flag idea.

Two considerations stand in the way.

One, he said, is that before deciding to fly any flags for particular causes the city would need to develop a policy, presumably a policy on which flags to fly under what circumstances and for what if any groups or causes.

Already there have been two requests to fly other flags outside of City Hall.

The other consideration is practical. State law says the city must fly the American and Oregon flags as well as the flag in honor of service members missing in action or presumed lost as prisoners of war. Albany is not complying with the MIA-POW mandate because when it did fly that flag under the other two, the banner got snagged on the corner of the building.

In short, the flag pole in the plaza outside City Hall is too short for three flags, let alone four. Also, it may not be strong enough to accommodate additional flags in a strong wind.

Instead of hoisting a “Pride” flag outside, Troedsson suggested that if the council wants, the staff could hang it on a wall inside the lobby of City Hall during June.

As for a flag-flying policy, it wasn’t clear from the discussion whether the city staff would try to come up with one. Considering the potential political pitfalls in addition to the limitations of the flagpole, it might be wiser to forget it and stick with the traditional flags the city flies now. (hh)

21 responses to “Move to hoist ‘Pride’ flag shot down”

  1. Cap B. says:

    Oh my God, in Troedsson, they got another Wes Hare. And, Troedsson is also drawing a huge salary and keeping with the old guard conservatism of old Albany. Why can’t they fly the Pride flag on a wall “outside” of the lobby during June? Answer: Because Smith, Novak, the mayor, and Troedsson don’t want to fly the flag.

  2. thomas earl cordier says:

    Clearer thinking prevails over social issues.

  3. MarK says:

    Flying a “pride” flag on the same pole as a POW-MIA flag would be a slap in the face to our missing military personnel as well as our existing veterans.

    • Hartman says:

      In what way is a pride flag offensive to MIA or veterans? Seems a stretch

    • The Truth says:

      Pretty sure our military men and women fought and died protecting everyone’s rights, even those you personally may not agree with.

      As a true Christian, I recognize it is not my place to judge. If God feels a particular way that is God’s place not mine.

  4. Anony Mouse says:

    Time to be real – this is a political issue, not a practical one.

    The designer (Gilbert Baker) asserted many years ago that this flag was a political symbol.

    So a mandate from the city council that the flag be flown would be an explicit political act.

    The council wouldn’t allow a “Let’s Go Brandon” flag to be flown at city hall. They shouldn’t allow a “pride” flag using the same reasoning.

  5. Hartman says:

    Perhaps CARA could float a Flag Pole bond to build a mighty flag pole to support as many political “flag messages” as possible. Or, perhaps the City could hire the “Super Patriots” who have two, three, sometimes even 4-flags flowing from the bed of their pick-up truck to remind us how much more American they are than anyone else. These Ultra-Loyalists might be willing, given the Right cash incentive, to take pull down one or more of their flapping, snapping Old Glories and substitute a Pride Flag, or a Don’t Tread on Me flag or whatever Flag-of-the-Month might be coming down the pipeline.

    This is Albany, people. We cannot let the fact that Our Founding Moms and Pops did not have the foresight to plant a City pole long enough and strong enough to handle the flag-flying will of the People. If the Council were to construct a proper flag pole, Troedsson would not be forced to pour cold water on multiple flag-flying efforts. Let the will of the people be heard across the land.

  6. Jon Taylor says:

    A good example of why a city needs a city manager!

  7. Richard Vannice says:

    At last, a glimmer of common sense!

  8. hpeg13 says:

    So we do for 1 group, YOU MUST do for others, which is targeted preferential treatment, that EXCLUDES a majority of other citizens. This is NOT LEGAL.

  9. Scott Bruslind says:

    It’s not called vexillology for nothing. Vexed emotions inevitably accompany flag flying decisions for anything other than Old Glory and anything other than adherence to the US Flag Code.

    Interesting historical note about the US Flag on the moon.-
    The first U.S. flag on the moon was deployed by Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin during their historic EVA on 20 July 1969 (at 4 days, 14 hours and 9 minutes mission-elapsed time). The flag was seen worldwide on live television (Fig. 6). At their technical crew debriefing, Armstrong and Aldrin reported few problems with the deployment. They had trouble extending the horizontal telescoping rod and could not pull it all the way out. This gave the flag a bit of a “ripple effect,” and later crews intentionally left the rod partially retracted. The Apollo 11 astronauts also noted that they could drive the lower portion of the pole only about 6 to 9 inches into the surface. It is uncertain if the flag remained standing or was blown over by the engine blast when the ascent module took off.
    Anne M. Platoff
    Hernandez Engineering Inc.
    Houston, Texas

    Awarded the Driver Award for the Best Paper Presented to the 26th Meeting
    of the North American Vexillological Association
    October 11, 1992 — San Antonio, Texas

    Prepared for
    Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
    under contract NAS9-18263

    August 1993

  10. Snailracer says:

    Most in a functional society used to accept the wisdom of realizing that “pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall.”

    Many thanks to City Manager Peter T. for for his application of reason, logic, and common sense.

  11. Bill Kapaun says:

    Hanging any “political” flag (or allowing a banner to drape a wall) just opens up a can of worms we don’t need to open.

    Somebody with enough money and will could sue the city for impinging “their” freedom of speech if they refuse to fly “their” flag.

    The city simply has to say NO to anybody! Else STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES!

    • Anony Mouse says:

      Check out SCOTUS case Shurtleff v. City of Boston, No. 20–1800, 2 May 2022.

      It was a unanimous decision. Boston refused to allow the flying of a “Christian flag.” Boston lost the case.

      If a city allows public flag raisings that constitute private expression – not government speech – then the city cannot discriminate based on viewpoint.

      The best “policy” for Albany is to clearly state that its flagpoles are not a public forum for private expression.

  12. Sonamata says:

    But they’ll sure welcome the tourism and money generated by the Pride Festival next month! Must be a real moral dilemma for the Chamber of Commerce considering which candidates they fund.

  13. Carolee Gascoigne says:

    Common Sense prevails !!

  14. Cliff says:

    No use for the Pride Flag, if the Dem’s can remover the Star’s and strips from their Job sites then we can refuse it !

  15. MarK says:

    CARA needs to create a flag of their own. I’m sure the city would “fly it high”. Probably top or second highest.

  16. MBPS says:

    Alphabet people want to be categorized as a protected minority. They are competing with all the other minorities for money and special treatment.

  17. Anony Mouse says:

    Did anyone in Albany see the absolute ignorance on display in the local paper by four councilors?

    And these four are ‘non-partisan”?

    This form of idiocy is beyond parody.


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