California Beach Town Prohibits Pride, Other “Commemorative” Flags

Voters of Huntington Beach in California approve city legislation prohibiting the display of “commemorative” flags.

According to the latest tally of the Orange County Registrar of Voters, 58 percent of the voters favor Measure B.

This charter amendment bans the display of Pride, breast cancer awareness, and religious flags, but exempts city, county, and state flags, including the US and armed forces flags.

With this move, only the US, California, and Orange County flags, the city flag, the POW-MI flag, the flags of the six Armed Forces, and, during the Summer Olympic Games, the Olympic flag.

This measure was proposed by Councilmember Pat Burns (R), explaining that “The City of Huntington Beach should avoid actions that could easily or mistakenly be perceived as divisive. [We] are one community with many different cultures and people. All are equally valued members of our community, and none are to be treated differently or discriminated against.”

For Burns, the city must only have flags that equally represent the people of Huntington.

“People have asked if we can fly other flags, whatever they may be, and I don’t believe that we should fly any other flags but equal flags that represent us all,” Burns added.

Moreover, the city council will only allow the flying of commemorative flags in public facilities after conducting a voting process.

Huntington Beach Mayor Gracey Van Der Mark also backed these measures, saying: “The goal in supporting these measures is to bring unity under flags that represent all of us equally on government property beginning with the flag of our great country, The United States of America.”

Van Der Mark also added that they will allow the display of the flags of the six branches of our military and the POW flag to honor the military men and women who offered their lives for our country.

In February 2023, the Huntington Beach Council banned the flying of the LGBTQ+ flag in the City Hall during Pride month.

Burns said this effort is not about getting rid of the Pride flag, “But in my family, we recognize everyone equally… Let’s just stick with our beautiful American flag and everything else.”

The people of Huntington also support these measures.

Frank Rodriguez, an executive member of Gays Against Groomers, ripped the Pride flag and said it doesn’t represent him.

City planning commissioner Don Kennedy also favored the policy and described the U.S. flag as “the most inclusive flag in the world” and Huntington Beach as a welcoming place that represents freedom, diversity, and equality.”

“The council’s choice to limit what flags fly on government property is not an attack on any of these ideals,” he added.“Conversely, it’s an act of inclusion, because it says to the residents that the government is not in the business of picking cause flags because there are many, and if we pick one and not another then that act itself becomes exclusionary.”






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