MELILLO: The Board of Selectmen Made the Right Decision on Flags

Submitted by Andrew Melillo

In an article written recently on September 29, 2023 by the GFP concerning the Flag Policy decision of the Town (Flag policy for Greenwich passes in split vote after contentious exchange Sept 28, 2023), a group statement from the Democratic members of the Greenwich Delegation to Hartford wrote:

“Bowing to pressure from hate groups, the Selectmen’s office has chosen to exclude pre-approval for flags already flown at town hall, specifically both Juneteenth and the Pride flag. This is a diverse and inclusive community and our policy needs to reflect that. At our first hearing, we were given the understanding all prior flown flags would be automatically pre-approved. If the flag policy is not revised, it is hard not to see this as a profound lack of leadership and frankly disturbing.”

This hyperbolic statement is disturbing. Grandstanding? There is nothing else to call it. There is only one flag of this Nation, the American Flag. The likelihood that other flags representing important causes and issues to be denied on occasions and days commemorating the beliefs and values that they represent is minimal and any promotion of such a concept is fearmongering.

This policy was crafted to protect the Town legally from the ever increasing litigious and dysfunctional society in which we live, mostly caused by certain segments in society who wish to minimize, if not some elements of them, diminish, if not at times, seek to destroy the National Symbols. The Flag is the ultimate symbol of America. It is the only flag, followed by state and municipal flags, that should be
constantly flying at the top of the flag pole.

Did the Board of Selectmen bow from pressure by hate groups? No. This is simply not true, but makes for great campaign rhetoric for those who would desire to make a mountain out of an ant hill to energize their political base, rather than be objective and pragmatic. It is a simple, straight-forward, legally sound policy that avoids giving special treatment to some flags, but not to others. This ensures that all flags of any cause or movement or belief are treated equally and responsibly when requested to be raised for certain occasions. It is not disturbing; it is sound policy.

The American Flag is the symbol of the greatest cause on earth. That cause which states that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Enough with the gimmicks, the games, the hyperbolic rhetoric. The Town’s delegation should go back to Hartford and do the job they were elected to do: promote and protect Greenwich’s interests. The policy is sound, but it is unfortunately a necessary policy because of the fact that so much radicalism has been allowed to run rampant and unchecked for so many years to the point that if anyone becomes upset, mad, or offended by nearly an infinite number of things, one can be sued, canceled, harassed, and even doxed.

This Nation has never been perfect, but its founding aspirations have always been coveted and kept close to every American’s heart to help create a more Perfect Union, and to bring justice where it was wrongfully lacking for so long to so many people of this country. While the Nation and its people may be imperfect, the American Flag has always been the symbol that has embodied the values that we as Americas strive for and demand every day: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – Justice. Not a hyphenated form of Justice with so many ever changing and creative nouns and adjectives before it – just Justice – for it cannot be anything else but what it is: “based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.”

The Board of Selectmen made the correct decision. It is not denying long-existing flags of important causes for diverse groups of people that make up local society, and national society at large, it is putting a necessary policy in place to treat all flags other than the American Flag uniformly and fairly. They should be commended for taking a simple issue and making it fair and comprehensive for all. And yes, it must be said – No other flag in this country or across the world is above the American Flag or on equal footing – there is no other flag that can gain equal status to it. Old Glory is supreme, has no match, and with this policy decision all other flags have equal treatment under the only flag that reigns supreme.

NOTE: Deadline to submit letters to the editor regarding the Nov 7 election is October 30, 2023 at 12:00 noon. Not every letter will be published. Include your phone number and address (not for publication).