The Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, or simply the American Flag will be flying proudly Tuesday, June 14 on Flag Day, throughout the USA.
In Boise, chances are pretty good we will see rainbow striped Gay Pride flags fly from publicly owned lamp posts along Harrison Blvd., not the red, white, and blue.
We find it interesting that generations of Americans have been stirred and fought to protect the Star Spangled Banner and all that it stands for. Regardless of one’s sexual or political preferences, it seems the symbolism of a flag can stir passions–both good and bad.
The Trump movement has co-opted the American Flag to a certain extent. If you see a big pick-up truck with a flag flapping in the back, chances are slim the driver is a liberal. Bottom line is this: If flags are to be flown from public property they should represent EVERYONE–like the USA, state, City, County, etc.–and not a special interest, be it religious, political or sexual/gender.
Crosses, religious symbols, and the Ten Commandments have been banned from public property. We question the legality, fairness, and propriety of flying special interest flags from public property. The practice only fans the flames of discontent and leads to vandalism and dissent. Those who wish to fly the rainbow flag should do so from private property and their right to do so is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution under free speech.
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Jun 13, 2022, 3:19 pm
Jun 13, 2022, 3:25 pm
I’m in total agreement with the Guardian. Old Glory should be the only flag flying on Harrison Blvd on Flag Day. Any other colors or message flags belong on private property.
Jun 13, 2022, 3:49 pm
That was one of the best, most thoughtful and reasonable discourses on the matter I’ve seen. THanks for putting into words what I have always thought.
Jun 13, 2022, 4:40 pm
Did not realize the lamppost there were public property.
EDITOR NOTE–As we understand it, the roadway and median are ACHD and the maintenance of the trees and grass are Boise City along with the street lights. We were unable to determine who authorized the flag displays.
Jun 13, 2022, 5:31 pm
I don’t know. We’ve got a big cross on Table Rock.
God’s OK, but gay members of our town aren’t?
Or are you pretending this isn’t about that?
Truth will set you free.
EDITOR NOTE–Actually the cross is on PRIVATE ground. Came about in a quiet deal which saw the land board sell a few feet of public ground at the base of the cross for the same reasons outlined here. This was done when Andrus was guv and chair of the land board. The JACEES own and operate the cross.
Jun 13, 2022, 8:48 pm
I’ll be flying Old Glory on Flag Day and will afford sneering disregard to those displaying other banners on this special day.
Jun 14, 2022, 4:40 am
Here is a link for more history of the Table Rock Cross property.
I wonder what the chances are that the Christian Flag would be authorized on the government owned lamp posts?
Jun 14, 2022, 6:31 am
Spot on Dave! With all of the pride this and pride that, it is hard to have pride in just being a normal working citizen without being labeled as something like being hateful or otherwise harmful to society.
Jun 14, 2022, 8:16 am
Ahhhh, Dave, it is also Pride Month.
How do you feel about the POW MIA flags on public property? They are not official political flags- as in, not for a city, state or national government. We have more gay neighbors than we have POWS or MIA. And what, 1% of our citizen are veterans? it’s not even an all encompassin g flag. Where is your bigotry for that?
And why are all those American flags displayed every day? Are we now “ decorating” our streets with American flags?
Why do you think it is for Flag Day- one day.
They’re there all the time.
Jun 14, 2022, 8:28 am
Mr. Guardian, I appreciate your opinion piece, and am in complete agreement.
My philosophy – Live and Let Live. I may not “approve” of your lifestyle, and you may not approve of mine. But that’s OK; we can make our own life choices. Let’s not beat each other over the head with our lifestyles.
You mentioned flags flapping crazily in pickup trucks. In my view, displaying a tattered and frayed and faded flag is NOT a show of patriotism, but rather the opposite. I see flags hanging from houses and pickup trucks that look like they should’ve been retired or replaced five years ago.
God bless America!
Jun 14, 2022, 8:31 am
Great post and point to make! I guess someone has to sue the City to flly their flag of choice on Harrison as well. Lawsuits or threats of, seem to bring about change pretty quick.
Jun 14, 2022, 9:00 am
For one day a year we should devote attention to the flag of the USA? If we believe in what it stands for we might rethink what we as a nation came close to losing on January 6 2021
Jun 14, 2022, 9:03 am
🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸Bravo and kudos🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
Jun 14, 2022, 9:06 am
As a “liberal-progressive”, I agree with this. Every special interest that demands/commands attention opens a door. E.g. the coach who wants prayer under the goal posts. Zat work for a Muslim or Wicca group? Government and public places must remain secular, including gender orientation.
Jun 14, 2022, 9:08 am
The North End Neighborhood Association(NENA) maintains the Harrison Blvd flag program according to the city’s North End Neighborhood Plan created by the city.
Not sure what happened this morning, but in years past they have flown both flags.
EDITOR NOTE–Clancy, our concerns are that opening up the city-owned and maintained median to ANY special interest group is contrary to court rulings. We doubt the neighborhood association has legal authority to grant or deny who gets to fly flags and banners. Would the NA allow the confederate stars and bars, the Christian Flag, Trump, etc.? The issue is WHO determines use of the public property? The rainbow flag is simply bait for bigots and haters. We would aggressively defend the right to fly the rainbow on private property.
TUES UPDATE– We visited Harrison Blvd and the ONLY flags flying on the public median are rainbow. Two private residences flew the Stars and Stripes while four others displayed the rainbow flag in one version or another.
Jun 14, 2022, 9:12 am
More of anti-rainbow comments than pro-flag comments. And that’s why.
Jun 14, 2022, 10:09 am
I believe the flags are decided by a NENA board vote. But does the board have any agreement with the City as to what should be put up?
Pride flags are also flying downtown, have you asked about that? https://twitter.com/holliwoodings/status/1534930460035276804?s=20&t=qJy9xo0G3fxkrVDEm7CgWA
EDITOR NOTE–Again, we don’t have an issue with the gay subject matter. The issue is whether or not public property should be used to promote the special interest. Also, ultimately the elected councilors are the “deciders” and should be responsible. Don’t be surprised if symbols distasteful to some groups start popping up on public property.
Jun 14, 2022, 11:33 am
100% agree. We’re all Americans, so the stars and stripes are an appropriate and unifying symbol. It’s inappropriate to spend tax dollars to support special interest groups of any kind. Everyone I know could not care less about the rainbow agenda. BUT….once you start having our tax-funded, elected government proselytizing on behalf of groups like this, resistance will follow. As Issac Newton observed: “For every action their is an equal and opposite reaction.” There is no need to go there.
Jun 14, 2022, 12:27 pm
A substantial part of Boise’s residents find the lifestyle represented by the rainbow flag to be disgusting and immoral. So why does the city insist on angering their own citizens and voters? Is it because the rainbow flag is used by various corporations and government entities as a way to signal their “virtue”?
You are spot on, Mr. Frazier. There are two other flags that could also be displayed in good taste from the lamp posts: the flag of the state of Idaho, or Boise’s own civil flag. Curiously, I don’t think any of the other surrounding cities (Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, etc.) are flying rainbow flags. One very positive aspect of former President Trump’s time in office was how he made people proud to be Americans again, and not just “global citizens” as during the Obama years.
Jun 14, 2022, 1:19 pm
Not for everyone. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe their allegiance belongs to God’s Kingdom, which they view as an actual government. They refrain from saluting the flag of any country or singing nationalistic songs, which they believe are forms of worship–
Do you believe in Freedom of all Religions or just yours?
Jun 14, 2022, 4:39 pm
so it is the “special interest” part that is bothersome.
How about the special interest of blue parking spaces for old people?
That is publicly funded.
If volunteers posted flags, on these poles, to decorate for breast cancer awareness month, is that “special interest”? better check with the Mrs on that one.
Jun 15, 2022, 6:58 am
PD, you stretch much? Come on the point of this is having special interest flags and symbols on public property. Comparing that to blue parking spaces for the disabled is more than a bit of a reach. I don’t support having any special interest flags that are not symbols of the state or federal government on public property.
Jun 15, 2022, 10:36 am
DB, so do you oppose POW/MIA flags on state flag poles? Not a government at all.
Idaho Falls City Council recently had a bruha about that flag (in a super conservative town).
Veterans Memorial Blvd gets those flags regularly- paid by tax dollars. Meanwhile the Harrison Blvd is done by volunteers.
I say the POW/MIA flag is a special interest flag just as much a flag supporting gay people.
How about the flag American flags with a blue line? Special interest if I ever saw one! Those goofy things are flying all over, on government property. To show support for a small group of people.
Point is, I doubt it is a “special interest” concern. It is THAT particular group that bothers some people. It is best to reveal the truth with other examples.
EDITOR NOTE–FYI, Even as a Vietnam veteran, I have trouble understanding the POW flag at post offices. For me the Stars and Stripes cover MIAs, citizens, etc.
Jun 15, 2022, 5:55 pm
I see those on outhouses across the nation.
Jun 16, 2022, 1:36 pm
PD, in case you did not read closely enough, I do not support “any” flags that are not representative of the federal or state government that they represent on public property. Including those with the stars and bars with the thin blue line on them. My fear is that by the allowance of Pride flags on public property could lead to other flags being flown by groups with atrocious beliefs. This is no different than when the state legislature stopped groups from illuminating the capitol building. People said it was hateful, but I would say it was insightful as where do you draw the line on allowing groups to project their symbol on a fixture of government property.
Jun 16, 2022, 6:27 pm
In case you didn’t read closely enough–
Do do you oppose POW/MIA flags on state and city flag poles?
Perhaps the Editor can expand on having trouble understanding it at post offices. Yet it flies ABOVE the Idaho flag here in Idaho.
In 2019 Senator Elizabeth Warren (D Massachusetts)(yes, that Senator) introduced the bill National POW/MIA Flag Act – to require it fly every day on federal property where there is an American flag flying. Previously it was select days.
Currently there are 81,600 American MIA (since 1941).
Anyone want to guess how many Americans are represented by the Rainbow Flag? How about how many of those are IMPRISONED by BIGOTS in our society?
Doesn’t the Rainbow flag say JUSTICE FOR ALL?
Jun 17, 2022, 10:30 am
Yes I do oppose them. Just because some senator introduces a bill to have that flag flown on federal property does not mean that it represents our republic. Just as the American flag that is changed to black and white with a blue line does not represent the republic.
The sacrifice that POW/MIA cannot be understated, nor can the sacrifice of our veterans and other public servants that place their lives on the line for our country.
The rainbow flag has become a symbol of equality for the LGBTQ community and I think that is great. So I am not sure it represents “Justice for all” but I am sure it could be, things change all the time.
Just a quick note though if it weren’t for the sacrifice by many who have served this country, there would be no rainbow flag, and quite possibly there would not be anyone for it to represent.
Jun 17, 2022, 8:02 pm
I would have to believe that the queer community and NENA have caught wind of this conversation. I would think the appropriate and civil action they take next year, if this repeats, is to take down their “flag” and hoist up the stars and stripes on Flag Day. I will be watching but not holding my breath.
Jun 18, 2022, 12:58 pm
Sounds like PD and DB need to get a room? Speaking of flags on public property! I was up in Pine area this week and got disgusted at the F— BIDEN flag displayed in the camp ground.
I wouldn’t want to explain to a child that one is directed towards hate and one towards acceptance.
EDITOR NOTE–Both are “free speech,” but we don’t allow that language here.
Jun 18, 2022, 1:21 pm
When may I again serve my own “special interest” and once more use the poles to advertise yard sales and lost pets?
Jun 18, 2022, 6:17 pm
Caeth. Go for it! Apparently there is no governing authority over the lamp posts. While you are at it, maybe we could fly the Al-Qaeda flag to be inclusive so as not to offend anyone.
Jun 20, 2022, 1:10 pm
It is tough to please everyone.
The East side of Boise has the other problem. On a trip to the lake last month, I saw Boise City employees hanging/adjusting the flags for Memorial Day (or so I thought). They’re still displayed on the poles today.
“Might as well leave em up for Flag Day”?
“Well, heck, might as well leave em up for Fourth of July”? Labor Day?
The “implied” patriotism, or attempt at patriotism, becomes the opposite.
When, how, and WHY is more important IMO than whether a rainbow flag is hanging there on Flag Day.
As Bikeboy mentions, some people hang an American flag and then just forget about it. Just like the tattered flag on the Toyota 2C pickup racing down the freeway at 80mph, it’s gross!
One flag flying every day at City Hall, schools, etc is appropriate and appreciated. Posting flags for the appropriate day and taking them appropriately afterwards is patriotic and shows respect for the flag and for the day, such as Flag Day.
Leaving American flags up constantly is disingenuous in most cases and therefor becomes disrespectful. There are very few cases where it works out as intended.
IMO the Constant Flag Syndrome is much the same as the ‘mandated’ Pledge of Allegiance. I recently saw a picture of some Idaho politicians (the same ones claiming to be so patriotic) during the Pledge, they looked more like zombies at their own funeral.
Take a photo of 50 or more people during the National Anthem, and it will show a good representation of our “American Patriotism.”
I expect the Warm Springs Ave display shows much the same. What is the real message?
Jun 30, 2022, 12:12 pm
A recent case from Boston about flags on ‘city poles’:
Aug 10, 2022, 10:44 am
I agree that the American flag should be flown but aren’t you forgetting something? LGBTQIA people are humans and have human rights like you and me and are constitutionally protected. They received these rights because of the American flag and American freedom ideals. Why not celebrate that? Put yourself in their shoes. Sounds to me that you are scared of change and people that may be different than you. Truth is, we have more in common than not. Why can’t the poles fly one of each of the flags? Open your minds!