The Board of Selectmen on Thursday discussed flag raising events for each of the US Military Service branches – US Marines, US Navy, US Army, US Coast Guard and US National guard – and permanent display of the POW/MIA flag to the list of flags previously approved.
After some townspeople worried the the Pride flag might not be approved, that was not the case when the Selectmen voted last month on a list of “legacy flags.”
The vote represented a new approach in which the three member board voted on a calendar of flags to be raised outside town hall where there are three flagpoles, with the understanding that new requests be submitted during the year.
To submit a request, a resident is asked to share their rationale and submit it to the Selectmen’s office at least 30 days in advance of the requested flag raising.
The approved list of flags to be raised outside town hall in 2024 (Approved in January0
- St Patrick’s Day – Proposed date of Friday, March 15
- Greek Independence Day
- Red Cross Month
- Norwegian National Day
- National Public Works Week
- Pride Month – Proposed date of Sunday, June 2
- Colonial flag for Fourth of July
- French flag for Bastille Day September:
- Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
- Mexican Independence Day
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Columbus Day
- Albanian-American Independence Day
At a previous meeting, David Wold, a 9th District member, requested the Selectmen include flags for the 5 military service branches, as well as the POW/MIA flag.
Laura McGeechy from the law department researched policies and learned the POW/MIA flag is flown daily at the White House, but not at the CT State Capital.
This week the Selectmen voted unanimously in favor of Wold’s request for 6 additional flags, though First Selectman Fred Camillo said there was some question about exactly where the POW/MIA flag would go.
Ms Rabin made a motion to approve the flag raising events to mark significant US Forces milestones as well as daily flying of the POW/MIA flag.
Mr. Wold thanked the Selectmen and noted he had offered to provide the flags.
From there, Dr. Michael Goldstein called in to request that the town raise the Israeli flag to mark Israeli Independence Day on May 14th.
“This is for Israeli independence,” Camillo said. “I don’t want people calling in saying it’s a political statement or anything like that. It’s just out of respect for one of our allies in the Middle East.”
“There is a significant number of Jewish citizens in Greenwich who take pride in Israel and would be disappointed if the flag were not flown. Israel is obviously a country with a long history getting back to almost 4,000 years and recently became independent in 1948. It’s the only democracy in the Middle East,” Goldstein said.
Camillo noted that Thursday represented a first read, and there would be a second read at the next meeting, followed by a possible vote.
The next Board of Selectmen meeting is unique in that it will take place in the evening: Feb 22,2024 at 7:00pm.