Letter to the editor | Commemorative flag conundrum



The City of Signal Hill raised the LGBTQ Pride flag on three municipal flagpoles– at City Hall, the police station and library. The flags will continue to fly through the end of next month to commemorate June as Pride Month for the LGBTQ community, according to Deputy City Manager Scott Charney.

The City Council recently approved a resolution to display “commemorative” flags on city flag poles. Special interest group flags selected are: NAACP, Pride/LGBTQ, and Suffrage. The stated purpose of the resolution was to improve the quality of life for the city.

In the city council meeting of Jan. 28, 2020, some people said that the quality of life would improve with this resolution while others indicated the quality of life would deteriorate. It makes me wonder how success of this resolution will be measured? I believe comments were made by some who are not residents of Signal Hill. What evidence does the City Council have that the majority of Signal Hill residents support this resolution?

The federal, state and city flags (the Unity Flags) deserve special recognition and a distinct place of honor (the flagpole) for a number of reasons:

1. These symbols of Unity represent the interests of us all, and they bind us together for the greater good of the Country, the State, and our City.

2. They represent a common purpose in which we all believe and to which we all contribute including the safety, education, and the well-being of our fellow citizens.

3. All citizens are represented by the Unity Flags and no one is excluded.

Why does a special interests flag deserve to be honored and revered to the same degree (by being placed on a flagpole) along with the three Unity Flags?

I recently looked at flag poles at City Hall in 11 neighboring cities. I saw 11 cities flying the federal flag, nine flying the state flag, and five displaying a city flag.

There were four POW/MIA flags displayed. This may reflect the National POW/MIA Flag Act of 2019 which describes when this flag will be displayed. Most cities typically displayed these flags on one, two or three poles. There were no other flags displayed on these poles. Why?

I recommend that the City Council review its decision to allow commemorative flags to be displayed on city flagpoles such that no flags other than the federal, (and POW/MIA as required), state, and city, the three Unity flags, fly on city ​flagpoles.

Randy Hartshorn
Signal Hill resident