Clayton stands by its flag policy

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:04 AM EDT
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CLAYTON, New York (WWNY) - Clayton lawmakers stand by their controversial new flag policy despite pushback.

Village officials say they want to protect people from hate, but the policy has the local LGBTQ community feeling left out.

It was a packed crowd in Clayton for Monday’s village board meeting, most waiting for one item on the agenda.

When the time came, lawmakers didn’t wave the white flag.

“They will stay with the current flag policy,” Deputy Mayor Nancy Hyde said.

That policy enacted in August only allows American flags and those of other nations to fly on village flagpoles.

Some in the community are crying foul. In June, a group called River Pride raised the LGBTQ Pride Flag in Frink Park.

But with this new law in place, that won’t happen again.

“To be discriminated against because of my life choices, is not a feeling I would like to think of this village,” Betsy Fitter said.

Hyde says the policy isn’t about discrimination, but rather a way for the board to draw the line of what flags they allow to fly.

Their goal, they said, is to protect the community.

“From hate and negativity,” Hyde said. “And, unfortunately, we see it daily in today’s world.”

People looking for the flag policy to be reversed called on elected officials to take a stand.

“You are capable of deciding which messages and groups are in keeping with the spirit of our river community,” Campbell Marshall said, “and those which are not.”

Businesses and homes in the village can still fly the Pride Flag or any flag they want.

And Hyde says River Pride would still be welcomed back next year.

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