Was This Upstate NY Village Wrong to Remove Gadsden Flag from Village Property?
The Gadsden Flag featuring the snake and Don't Tread On Me slogan being taken down from the Village Green in Hamilton was the site of a demonstration organized by Utica's Jim Zecca recently. Zecca, a former Utica councilman and leader of a pro Donald Trump group in Utica, told the Observer Dispatch that his "pro Gadsden flag rally" last week was actually a celebration of American history, and not a demonstration.
So, was the Village wrong for saying it can't be flown on public property? Is this just another example of cancel culture?
The demonstrators cited the Revolutionary War era history the flag has represented for more than 200 years, as a reason to continue to fly the flag on public property. They failed to acknowledge the fact that in the last year, the flag has been adopted by many of the insurrectionists who stormed the United States Capitol building on January 6th, some of those who believe the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, as well as some white supremacists.
Hamilton Mayor RuthAnn Loveless told the Observer Dispatch that the flag had been flown near the park for years, but there had never been any complaints. Recently, someone or some people complained to the village about the flag on village property. Upon consideration, the Village Board decided the best course of action was not to allow any political or special interest flags on village property, according to the Observer Dispatch.
A neighbor told the OD that previously she wanted the pride flag flown at village hall, supporting the LGBTQ community, but was told that couldn't be done. That was also the right decision, especially because there wasn't an act or a resolution of any kind voted on by the Village Board.
I completely agree with their decision. Village property is owned by the people and not just a group of them, or even a majority. Village property should never be used to demonstrate a particular political side, which like it or not, is exactly what the Gadsden flag represents right now in America.
The American flag, and the New York State flags are the only flags that should be flown on village property, unless there's an executive order or a resolution passed by the village board that votes to include a flag such as the POW-MIA flag, for example. It's also pretty unbelievable that the flying of the Gadsden flag is purely about celebrating American history, especially in a very divided 2021.
Another example of how the flag might be appropriately flown would be if it had some historic tie to the village. It doesn't. And even then, it would have to be a decision by the mayor or board, or even a proposition put to voters.
Proponents of this flag stunt might say this is part of modern era cancel culture. It isn't. It's not like they're removing a Christopher Columbus statue from a park because of behavior in 1492. This is about the flying of a flag that at the time of our original uprising in the 1700s, symbolized our forefather's declaration of independence from the British, our oppressive ruling nation. The fact that in 2021, just 7 months ago, degenerates used the very same flag to invade America's capitol building with the intent of stopping the peaceful transfer of power, might have something to do with why the village received complaints. It also might have something to do with why the village made the decision they did. It's not a liberal or conservative decision. It's an American decision.
The Gadsden flag can proudly be flown on private property, it can be used as part of a private demonstration, you can fly it from your pickup truck or BMW, and it can certainly be flown from a business or any citizen's front porch. It should not be flown on public property. Period.