Arlington Heights passes ordinance to limit flags flown by village
Arlington Heights is limiting the flags the village can fly after controversy over flying the LGBTQ Pride flag.
According to Journal & Topics, Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said that while the ordinance was a reaction to the Pride flag, it wasn’t a referendum on the flag or community.
The newspaper reported that most didn’t believe that. The ordinance passed on a five to three vote on Monday, July 5. Arlington Heights will now only fly United States, Illinois, and Village of Arlington Heights flags, as well as the POW/MIA flag. The ordinance makes official the informal policy the village had used for years.
Hayes explained at his belief that flying a flag on a flagpole says two things: that the village government supports the flag and that all residents in the village pledge themselves to that flag. “I would argue that the proposed ordinance is the most inclusive because it allows only flags all of us support,” he said according to Journal & Topics.
Others at the meeting also expressed the concern that by allowing the Pride flag, it opened up the possibility of getting requests for flag people would find offensive like the Nazi flag or a Klan banner.
“There are certain flags I do not want to see ever — ever, ever, ever — on a building I pay taxes for,” Trustee Jim Tinaglia said. “It’s not a Pride flag.” He also said it was easier to ban all flags outside of the basic four the village had always flown.
Another trustee, Nicolle Grasse, an ordained minister in the LGBTQ-welcoming United Church of Christ, strongly said that the Pride flag was not a moral or social issue, she said it represents people who have historically been denied basic human rights of justice. She pointed out that the Illinois State Capitol has flown the Pride flag without other groups requesting it.