Black Lives Matter flag will fly over Barre – but so will ‘Back the Blue’

By Guy Page

The Barre City Council Tuesday night resolved heated debate over flying the Black Lives Matter flag in City Hall Park by narrowly deciding to let it fly next month, and then take it down and fly 22 other flags, one per month, through October 2022 — including the “Back the Blue” banner.

A pro-BLM flag supporter on the Council condemned the “hatred” of the pro-police flag, and said there are people in Barre who “cannot see past their hatred.”

The Council decided to display 23 different flags in City Hall Park over the next two years — starting with BLM next month, and ending with the flag of the U.S. Navy. The park, across from City Hall, also features the famous “Youth Triumphant” statue, aka the Naked Soldier with a Sword.

Guy Page

Vermonters with Blue Lives Matter flags came out to the Vermont State House on July 24, 2020, to show their support for police. The flag features the “thin blue line” in recognition of the importance of police service to the community.

The Council was split 3-3 until Mayor Lucas Herring cast the tie-breaker for the 23-flag solution, upsetting BLM supporters who said it weakened an original, BLM-flag-only proposal. Councilor Teddy Waszazak expressed their disappointment on a Facebook post:

“Due to manipulation of the agenda and one Councilor’s reactionary views, a Thin Blue Line flag will fly in January (not without STRONG dissent from myself and Councilors Reil and Hemmerick), and flags were scheduled out through 2022. I am extremely disappointed in the Mayor and the 3 other Councilors who voted for this.

“However, I am jubilant that the BLM flag will fly in Barre, one way or another. Let me be perfectly clear; I stand with Black Lives Matter and the movement for Black Lives. I condemn the symbol of hatred that is the Thin Blue Line flag, and I am sorry that I could not deliver a stronger result. Black Lives Matter in Barre, even if there are people here who cannot see past the hatred.”

Councilor John Steinman, who voted for the all-flags plan, struck a note of unity and reconciliation.

“Last night, on a split decision, the City Council reaffirmed its nonpartisan roots,” City Councilor John Steinman said in a Facebook statement. “After hearing testimony from diametrically opposed viewpoints, it refused to take sides on a national debate. Instead, in the spirit of fair play, the council decided to compromise and fly flags representing differing views.”

“Compromise is essential to the proper governance of our fair city and while it is abundantly clear that certain members of the council were unwilling to compromise, a compromise was enacted that represents the diverse views of our community. Now that all views are represented maybe we can let the divisiveness end and our community heal.”

Barre flag-flying schedule posted

Here’s the complete list of proposed flags, subject to change, as provided by an involved Barre resident:

Black Lives Matter, December 2020
Thin Blue Line, January 2021
Green Mountain Boys flag, February 2021
Ireland, March 2021
Earth Day, April 2021
Firefighter Support, May 2021
United States Army, June 2021
Betsy Ross, July 2021
Woman’s Suffrage, 19th Amendment, August 2021
LGBT Rainbow, September 2021
Abenaki, October 2021
United States Marine Corps, November 2021
Human Rights Equality, December 2021
Canada, January 2022
Union Jack, February 2022
Italy, March 2022
Autism Awareness, April 2022
Star of David (Jewish American Heritage Month), May 2022
Juneteenth, June 2022
France, July 2022
United States Coast Guard, August 2022
AFLCIO, September 2022
United States Navy, October 2022

Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Tony Webster and Guy Page

13 thoughts on “Black Lives Matter flag will fly over Barre – but so will ‘Back the Blue’

  1. There are two BLM’s one hell bent on destroying the country with riots, looting, killings, assaults, etc. The Barre heads promoting BLM criminals? They buss these criminals to various cities to commit harm and heard they are backed financially by G. Soros. For me, the BLM flags represent this group and Soros.

    These do gooders that want such stupid events as the flags are a very small minority, but the media exposure makes one think it’s the majority. A media problem in VT et al. Don’t give them exposure and they will dissolve.

    So, the Barre heads want this and publicly state this is their feelings and desires. It figures, wimps all., no backbone. Privately I believe they think in opposite. Two faced, forked tongue. Total crapology, waste of time and money.

  2. If anything we should be flying the American flag upside down, our nation is being attacked from within and out, our Republic is getting a true stress test with the wisdom of the rule set up by our founding fathers coming into practice for just such a time. We’re in one of the most pivotal changes in our nations history, interesting times for sure, hopefully we have not lost our appeal to divine favors.

    • Neil, I know we only have 1.1% of our population that is Black over here in NH.
      Whatcha got over there then?
      In light of this, It’s pretty clear that this is not really about Black people..

      I’m so happy that there is really not much else going on for these people to be concerned about.

      • Our people of Vermont are far more oppressed by the same systemic oppression the minorities are experiencing….

        There is systemic oppression, the music industry, the media, the movies, the educational system and worst the social programs that destroy the very foundations of the family. This latter one is by far the most destructive and is being done across our state with the same results, engineered poverty trap.

        At least in the inner cities you can walk or take a bus to some of the most successful regions and people in the world.

        If you are living anywhere in Vermont, much less a small town, it’s a long way to any prosperity.

        We are being ruined by the same systems that impoverish many for generation. Sadly they are supporting an money laundering operation that will further keep ourselves and others in poverty of heart, mind, soul, finances….all the while fooling themselves to thinking they are doing good for their brothers and sisters.

        • I know what you say is true..it’s the Venezuela Plan- Green Mountain Style.

          The only people that can fix this though are you all.. there is no one that is going to save you.
          It’s all up to us.

  3. It’s just another way to dilute the unity of the nation.

    It’s another way to support division, tribes and infighting, I can understand the intent to allow others, but we should just stand firm. Fly any flag you want at your house it’s a free country, they are being used it won’t bring people together, it will only further divide, which is really the goal of some rabble rousers so we are only helping by creating further division and promoting it on public property.

  4. Doesn’t the Air Force exist which I served in during the Cold War with Russia 1958-1962? Flew on the B-52’s and KC-135 refulers 24 hours at a time, constant airborne alert with nukes. The sacrifice of the military made all this possible. So BLM is more important.

  5. Flying the blm flag on any public, tax payer funded property is basically, against the rules. Flying a police flag, which is a tax payer funded organization in place to protect and serve the public that pays their salaries, is not against the rules. If you took a poll, a legal poll, within the Barre area, the flying of the blm flag would be voted right off the ballot. The people of Barre would never support this and that goes for most places. The vocal minority, is pushing this down everyone’s throat and if you dare challenge it, they scream, “RACIST”. What a joke they are. Enough with this blm, false narrative, garbage. Time for some in leadership roles to have some guts and call this what it is, total trash.

  6. According the SCOTUS, Content Discrimination is unconstitutional unless ‘strict scrutiny’ is applied. Typically, if a BLM flag is allowed to be displayed on public property, flags with alternative and sometimes contradictory messages must also be allowed to fly. The exception, under ‘extreme scrutiny’, for example, is to prohibit flying a flag advocating or demonstrating child pornography. But political opinion is typically exempt from ‘extreme scrutiny’ principles.

    Abraham Lincoln made one of the more salient observations in this regard.

    “We declare for liberty; but in using the same word we don’t mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name – liberty. And it follows that each of these things is, by the respective parties, called by two different names – liberty and tyranny.”

    This is why we have the third leg of our republic’s stool of governance – the judiciary – to sort out the qualifying differences.

    • I’d like to see a Vermonster Flag with some big mudders on it.
      Four Wheeling is very popular in the state and a big part of the economy.
      How about a flag for the normal people that don’t care about Social Justice issues?
      Don’t they have Rights or a voice in Vermont?

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