Progress pride flag will be flown on all city flag poles throughout June, POW flag will continue to fly at police department
Earlier this week the Healdsburg City Council approved a city flag policy that outlines how public requests to fly specific flags will be handled and when flags will be flown at half-staff and stipulates that the progress pride flag will be flown throughout the month of June on all city flag poles and the Prisoner of War (POW) flag will be flown year round at the Healdsburg Police Department. The classic pride flag will be flown in June if the progress pride flag isn’t available.
The United States and California flags will be flown year round on all city flag poles.
While the progress pride flag may not be as familiar to folks as the classic rainbow pride flag, the progress flag is more inclusive in that it represents more communities such as the transgenger community and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color) communities.
“This is a flag that staff worked with Vice Mayor Jimenez to select and felt that this flag really represents the city’s commitment to diversity,” explained city attorney Samantha Zutler.
The progress pride flag also represents people of color, transgender persons, people living with AIDS and anyone who’s been marginalized in the community.
“It was designed in 2018 by graphic designer Daniel Quasar. Quasar added the five-color chevron to the classic rainbow flag to place a greater emphasis on inclusion and progression. Quasar’s progress flag added five arrow shaped lines to the six colored rainbow flag. This flag in particular includes a black and brown stripe to represent marginalized LGBTQ communities of color along with colors of pink, light blue and white, which are used on the transgender flag,” said Jimenez.
Jimenez said he believes the progress pride flag is a good choice for the city’s expression of free speech because it signals diversity and respect for the voices of marginalized communities.
“This item is particularly important for me. When I think about June of last year during pride month and serving on this council, which I believe is one of the most diverse councils in Sonoma County’s history, I think it’s really important to send a signal to the rest of the county the importance of how diverse and inclusive our community of Healdsburg is and how we respect the voices of marginalized people,” Jimenez said.
Councilmember Ariel Kelley said she thought the progress pride flag offers a beautiful message, but wondered if the classic pride flag could be added and if less people will recognize the progress pride flag
Jimenez said while there may be older folks in the LGBTQ community who respond to the classic pride flag, the progress flag is also widely accepted and is part of the evolution of the LGBTQ community with LGBTQIA+, non-binary individuals and intersex individuals .
“For me, it’s really important to signal to those that are so marginalized in our own community that they are feeling included in this because they view the pride flag as somewhat exclusive only to lesbians, gay and transgender and it doesn’t necessarily indicate anything around ethnicity or race and so that is why I think the progress pride flag appealed more to me,” he said.
Kelley thanked Jimenez for the learning opportunity.
Councilmember David Hagele said they are glad to be doing something to recognize the aforementioned communities and supported the flag policy.
“I think what’s lost in this is when that flag is flying, it’s really letting our marginalized communities, and the members of our communities who are bullied or who didn’t feel welcome, know that the city of Healdsburg sees you, you matter,” he said.
Jimenez thanked the council for their comments, questions and support.
“The way I look at Healdsburg is Healdsburg is a leader in our county and in our region and this is just part of that progression of leadership that we have not only as a city, but as a regional partner to other cities,” he said.
Other elements of the city flag policy
“The policy before you that considers governmental flags indicates that the city will fly the United States and California flags on call city flag poles and if we ever have a city of Healdsburg flag, we will fly that as well. The policy also governs when the U.S. and state flags will be flown at half-staff,” Zutler said.
The city will fly the flags at half-staff upon the death of:
● A city councilmember, past or present;
● Current city employee;
● A city retiree having served the city for 25 or more years;
● A person not holding or having held elected public office, whose accomplishments and contributions to the community demonstrated a significant commitment to the Healdsburg community, as determined by the city manager and the mayor.
The policy states that flags at half-staff shall be flown as soon as practicable following notification of the death, and usually for 48 hours.
Anyone who wants to display a non-governmental flag that’s not on the approved flags list — which includes the progress pride, pride and POW flags — will have to submit a request to the city manager’s office 60 days in advance.
The request would have to include a photo of the flag, dimensions and the requested dates for the flag to be flown.
The city council would then determine whether or not to approve or deny the request.