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Decorah City Council committee wants the PRIDE flag to be one of flags in the city's flag policy

Posted: Mon, Nov 4, 2019 7:32 PM

A committee of the Decorah City Council wants to have the Pride flag be one of the officially-approved flags of the City of Decorah.

The city's Community Betterment spent time Monday night discussing whether the city should return to the flag policy it used last year--before changes were made and controversies began over which flags to fly from city lampposts.

Committee chair Johanna Bergan said it was her hope that "community-oriented flags" could be removed from the city's policy, leaving the American flag, the Decorah and Luther flags and the Scandinavian flags flown at Nordic Fest.

But city council members Emily Neal and Steve Luse argued for including the Pride flag on the list of approved flags, with Luse saying it would be appropriate to fly the Pride flag "as an expression of the city's official sentiment."  Neal said flying the flag would be a way for the city to express that all are welcome in Decorah.

City Manager Chad Bird says including the Pride flag in the city's flag policy might increase the possibility of having a legal challenge filed against the city.  Committee members are asking that City Attorney John Anderson prepare a report for the next city council meeting which would outline the possible legal risks.