Letter to the Editor: Keep Raising the Flag for Inclusion and Acceptance

In response to the Aug. 18 Peninsula Pulse story “County Taking Up Flagpole Policy,” what is really the reasoning for the county to propose a flagpole policy? 

District 9 supervisor Dan Austad’s proposal to fly only American, state, county or military flags on county flagpoles has prompted the raising of another flag: a red one! The Pride flag is clearly and unnecessarily being singled out. It is flown throughout the country at municipal buildings (federal, state and local) during the month of June. No other flags flown throughout Door County have raised eyebrows to the level of a flagpole policy. 

To quote Mr. Austad, “If someone wanted to raise a Klan or Confederate flag, would we fly it? I have no idea.” Say what?! With all due respect to an elected official, the right answer should have been that any flag representing hatred and supremacy has no place in our country.

Any calls that supervisors receive against flying the Pride flag need to have one clear response: The Pride flag stands for love, welcoming and inclusion. Conversely, flying a Pride flag does not take away anyone’s right to hate, but it sure sends a message of tolerance and acceptance. Flags are symbols of who and what we stand for. Together as we evolve, we move away from old discriminatory beliefs into a new understanding of what is the fabric of our society.

Open Door Pride is proud of the increased awareness of Pride. Raising the flag has helped those who live, work and play here to feel included, safe and welcome. 

County supervisors: We do not need a flag policy. We need common sense. As more and more hate crimes are directed at the LGBTQIA+ communities throughout our country, we need support and calm wisdom. We will keep adding letters to the LGBTQIA+ acronym until we get to X, Y, Z if we have to – until we can all be seen as HUMAN.

Cathy Grier
Open Door Pride chair and founder
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin