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Decorah City Council denies Republican Party request to fly "Make America Great Again" flag June 14th

Posted: Mon, Jun 3, 2019 6:43 PM

On a 4-3 vote, the Decorah City Council has rejected an application by the Winneshiek County Republican Party to be allowed to put up 33 "Make America Great Again" flags on Water Street on Flag Day, June 14th.

City Council members Dan Bellrichard, Andy Carlson, Steve Luse and Ross Hadley voted to deny the request, while Randy Schissel, Kirk Johnson and Johanna Bergan voted to allow the flags to be put up.

Decorah Mayor Lorraine Borowski led the argument against allowing the flags to be flown.  She pointed out that American flags will already be flown June 14th for Flag Day and questioned why a second flag would be appropriate.  City council member Andy Carlson said he was concerned about flying a flag which had a campaign slogan on it.

Republican Party Chair Thomas Hansen several times mentioned that Decorah has held Pride marches in the past.  Hansen said the Flag Day program, like the Pride marches, would be "for everyone."

Monday night's vote affected the flying of the flags only.  The Decorah Parks & Recreation Department supervises the rental of Water Street Park for the event at noon June 14th, so the city council does not have any say on questions involving the 12:00 noon June 14th gathering at Water Street Park.