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    Friday, July 19, 2024

    Flagpole propaganda; and hate on her sleeve

    Wethersfield last week gave Connecticut the defining lesson about why only government's own flags should fly over government buildings and on government property.

    A member of the Republican minority on Wethersfield's Town Council proposed to raise the "thin blue line" flag at Town Hall to honor state Trooper Aaron Pelletier, who had just been killed in a hit-and-run crash during a traffic stop on Interstate 84 in Southington. The Democratic majority on the council objected, most of its members seeming to concur with the claim by Democratic Councilwoman Emily Zambrello that the "thin blue line" flag is construed to represent not just support for police officers but racism as well.

    The "pride" flag, representing sexual minorities, was already flying at Town Hall to honor "Pride Month."

    Yes, some people may equate the "thin blue line" flag with racism, but most of them hate all police officers because of the misconduct of a few. Meanwhile some people contend that even the United States flag itself represents hateful things. Wethersfield's council Democrats seem to have forgotten that even as the U.S. flag flies over Town Hall, someone, somewhere is always burning it to protest something.

    Are flags necessarily defined by the craziest people who wave or burn them? Wethersfield's council Democrats seem to think so.

    But the Democrats don't seem to have given much thought to what the "pride" flag represents or how it is construed. Many people who wave it construe it to represent the most extreme claims of transgenderism: the right of males who think themselves female to participate in female sports, to use female restrooms, and, when denied their liberty, to be confined in women's prisons.

    Is Wethersfield endorsing those claims by flying the "pride" flag? What exactly does Wethersfield mean by flying it?

    A more basic question about the "pride" flag seems not to have been asked in Wethersfield or anywhere else in Connecticut where that flag is being flown. That is, if, as state and federal law now presume, sexual orientation is largely a matter of innate human nature, why should anyone be proud of it any more than one should be ashamed of it? Do people earn their sexual orientation? Or, as Connecticut law long has maintained, do people simply have a right to their sexual orientation and it's nobody's business but their own?

    The biggest point in the Wethersfield flag controversy seems to have been missed by everyone there even as it was staring them in the face.

    That is, the U.S. flag at Town Hall was already flying especially to honor Trooper Pelletier, since Gov. Ned Lamont had ordered all U.S., Connecticut and municipal flags to fly at half staff in mourning. Additionally, by virtue of state and federal law forbidding discrimination by sexual orientation, the U.S. and Connecticut flags were already flying for sexual minorities.

    Only government flags fly for everyone. Other flags do not and are subject to interpretation, fair or unfair. People who lately have been striving to get government to endorse other flags are often seeking to have the government propagandize for a political cause so they can disparage its opponents. This should not become the American way.

    An example for kids

    State Rep. Liz Linehan, D-Cheshire, claims she was just wearing her heart on her sleeve the other day as she had herself photographed prancing in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan and making what in more civil times was called an obscene gesture. Linehan posted the photos on social media and when challenged about it said it was OK because she had meant the photos to be seen only by close friends and because most people in Connecticut feel as she does about former President Donald Trump.

    But Linehan wasn't just wearing her heart on her sleeve. She was reveling in her hate. That others share Linehan's hate doesn't make it less hateful.

    Ironically Linehan is House chairman of the General Assembly's Committee on Children. Acting like a bratty child herself and then making lame excuses, Linehan has set quite an example for kids.

    Chris Powell has written about Connecticut government and politics for many years. He can be reached at CPowell@cox.net.

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