Taber town council denies request to fly Pride flag; changes community flagpole rules

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Taber Town Council denies request to fly Pride flag, removes community flagpole altogether
The Taber Equality Alliance said it is disappointed with the town council after a request to fly the Pride flag on a community flagpole was denied. Quinn Campbell has more – Jan 31, 2018

The Taber Equality Alliance issued a statement to media Wednesday, expressing disappointment that town council had denied the group’s request to fly the Pride flag for one week in June, for this year’s Pride celebrations.

The flag was to fly on the community flag pole in Confederation Park, the same place as last year, despite several acts of vandalism.

The statement issued by Taber Equality Alliance. Facebook

The Town of Taber issued a news release addressing the request, including a motion made at the Jan. 22 meeting and said council wishes to have all citizens represented by the Canadian, Albertan, or Town of Taber flags on any town-owned flagpoles.

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Statement from the Town of Taber. Town of Taber

A motion was passed unanimously reads in part: “Council amends flag protocol policy c-9 to remove the Confederation Park flagpole as the designated community flagpole…”

It also said: “Moving forward, all town-owned flagpoles will only fly the aforementioned flags except in the instances of visiting dignitaries…”

Kathleen McKenzie, co-chair of the Taber Equality Alliance, said she feels the amendment was targeted.

“I don’t think anyone has ever asked to fly a flag on that flagpole, so yes, targeted at us because we are the only one who requested it.”

Global News attempted to clarify this with the town on Wednesday afternoon, but were told no further comment would be made, including what exactly prompted this change in the first place.

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The town did state the amendment does not prevent groups from flying or displaying flags in the park; they just have to use their own temporary flagpole.

READ MORE: Pride flag cut down from flagpole at Edmonton school 

As for the alliance, it wants the town to reverse the decision and apologize for denying its request.

It plans to bring the issue forward again to council and is asking citizens to write letters of support.

Late Wednesday, Sandra Jansen, the minister of Infrastructure, tweeted the Pride flag could be flown at the Taber provincial buildings. The tweet got several likes, re-tweets and comments of support.

She also gave Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Philips praise for advocating for the Taber group’s concerns.

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