County Flag Pole Has Great Potential For Evil
Nova Scotia’s Pictou County Council is afraid. They’ve got a flag pole outside their administrative building and it’s causing grave concern for councilors. County Warden Allister MacDonald explains:
If the gay community came and said “fly my flag,” we, under human rights, would have to fly everybody’s flag. It could be the Nazi party or the bikers; it could be anyone. And, from what our understanding is, you either fly everybody’s flag […] or you put a policy in that says “these are the flags we’re going to fly.”
Now, no gay rights group has actually asked the folks at Pictou County to fly the rainbow stripes. Nevertheless, the council has found itself amidst a lengthy and controversial flag banning discussion. Apparently, if a gay rights group ever were to request raising a flag on their pole, the Nazi party wouldn’t be far behind—or, at least, that’s what their understanding is.
Frankly, I don’t think their understanding is very understandable.
In the event that a totalitarian political party from wartime Germany requested to fly their flag in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, there would be no problems refusing their request—what with the unforgivable crimes against humanity and all. But I don’t think the councilors in Pictou were afraid of Nazi flag requests in the first place. They’re afraid of contention.
You see, if a gay rights group were to request that a rainbow flag fly on the administration building’s pole, there would be dissenters in the council—just like there were in Truro. To justify a “no” vote, these dissenters must explain their discomfort with gay people. Unlike explaining one’s rationale against requests from totalitarian regimes of the Third Reich, however, explaining discomfort with gay people would be met with criticism. Rather than face such criticism—or, better yet, the roots of their discomfort—the councilors would rather ban flag-flying requests altogether.
It’s not a particularly honorable stance—and particularly when no flag requests have been made in the first place. As Councilor David Parker put it:
Other municipalities fly these flags routinely of various groups to support their cause and their beliefs and I don’t have a problem with that. We’ve had no policy for 128 years. We’ve had no problem until it became a problem in one person’s mind.
Well said, David.
- Questions raised as Pictou County mulls flag rules [CBC News]
- Homophobia behind flag policy—councillor [Chronicle Herald]