EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

June 20, 2014

POW/MIA flag replaced by gay pride banner is raised again

DANVERS — Town Manager Wayne Marquis has come up with a way to fly both the gay pride flag and the POW/MIA flag in front of Town Hall after veterans complained they were upset the POW/MIA flag had been replaced by the rainbow flag under Old Glory.

Both flags will be flying in front of Town Hall, Marquis said in an email.

For the month of June, gay pride month, the rainbow flag had replaced the POW/MIA flag under the U.S. flag. Members of the Danvers Veterans Council complained to selectmen that the removal of the POW/MIA flag showed a lack of respect when it was replaced “by a flag for a political movement.”

“As a follow-up to Tuesday discussions, we’ve further researched proper flag etiquette, looked at flag displays in other communities and talked with people who have an interest in our Town Hall flag display,” Marquis said in an email late yesterday afternoon. “I’m pleased to advise you that we’ve been able to address the various concerns which had been expressed in a manner which is both respectful and acceptable to all parties.”

Marquis said that as of today: “The flag display at the front of Town Hall will contain the American flag flown above the POW/MIA flag on the Sylvan Street flagpole and the Mass. state flag will be flown above the Rainbow flag on the Holten Street flagpole. This display will remain in effect through June 30, which marks the end of LGBT Pride Month at which time the Rainbow flag will be removed.”

It’s a compromise that was suggested by veterans and others at the meeting.

Marquis said he will ask a small group, including representatives from veterans organizations, the Danvers Committee for Diversity, and Town Hall staff to meet this fall to discuss and make a recommendation for the flag display for June 2015.

“I want to thank all who provided input to the Board (of Selectmen) and myself on this important community matter,” Marquis said.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.




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