Nelson council voted Monday night to put the Kootenay Pride flag below the municipal flag in front of city hall on August 27 until September 3 for year’s Pride celebration.
Earlier this year Kootenay Pride wrote to city council asking that their flag be flown on the municipal flag pole.
In response, city’s management staff recommended to council on Monday that the city’s flagpoles be restricted to just the federal, provincial and municipal flags.
Council didn’t agree, and decided to fly the Pride flag for this year only, and then come up with a flag policy before this time next year, similar to the city’s new policy governing the content of the Baker Street banner. Council will also consider whether it wishes to raise a fourth flagpole specifically for community flags.
“I like the idea of community flags,” councillor Valerie Warmington said, “but look how much work the banner policy has been. We need policy because they get contentious.”
Councillor Janice Morrison agreed and suggested that some communities have a separate community pole.
“We need a policy because it does become a (question of) which flags to fly. I like the idea of community pole. But how do we avoid controversy?”
Councillor Robin Cherbo commented that the city has sometimes flown the Métis flag for the annual Métis celebration and that the temporary decision about Kootenay Pride should include the Métis flag for 2019, and council agreed.
In response to the council decision, Kootenay Pride issued a news release opposing the idea of a new community pole because “it is another form of marginalization and a $4,000 expense that the city doesn’t need.”
The news release goes on to state that “the city needs to make a statement and show that they not only do they support the LBGTQ2S community but that they understand that visibility and inclusion matter.”
Related: Nelson council updates banner policy