No more flag flaps with new Perth half-staff flag policy
Flag Flap No More.
The Canadian maple leaf flies at full staff this past Tuesday afternoon as birds fly past Perth town hall. A new policy clarifies when the flag can be lowered to half-staff, such as when a former Governor General dies or for a national period of mourning.
December 13, 2012
Town staff have clarified the instances when the Canadian flag will fly at half staff.
"I am getting requests all the time for different flags to be flown at town hall," said Mayor John Fenik. "What is our policy about half-staff ceremonies? It becomes really problematic. This was why we developed this policy."
The new rules were passed at the committee-of-the-whole on Tuesday, Dec. 4, and cover the town-owned flag poles at facilities like:
* Crystal Palace
* Conlon Farm Legion ball diamond
* Town Hall
* Perth Museum
* Fire hall
* Town band shell
* water treatment plant
Interestingly, the only flags capable of being flown at half-staff are at town hall and the fire hall. The only times when they can be flown at half-staff as a sign of mourning are on the death of:
* The Queen or King or a member of the royal family
* The Governor General or former Governor General
* The Prime Minister or former Prime Minister
* A local MP or MPP
* The Mayor or member of Perth town council
* The former mayor or deputy mayor or a former mayor of town council who has served at least 10 years
* A town employee
* Or when a National Day of Mourning is declared
The flags must also be flown at half-staff for three days.
There are some exceptions to the town`s flag being flown as well. The Perth Museum can fly either the maple leaf or Union Jack (British) flag, and the flag of the Royal Canadian Legion can fly at the Legion ball diamond. Another exception is that, upon the death of an Ontario fire fighter, the flag at the fire hall will be flown at half-staff until burial takes place.
The town will only approve raising guest flags if it is part of a visit considered to be important to the mayor and members of council, or to recognize the twinning agreements with the town, like Asago, Japan.
Some flags are expressly forbidden, such as:
* Political parties or organizations
* Religious organizations or the celebration of religious events
* If the flag runs contrary to municipal policies or bylaws
* If the intent is to defame town council
* If the event or organization has no direct relationship to the municipality
"This is very important," said Coun. Jim Graff. "It signifies important days in our day-to-day lives," he said, adding that it was good to have it written in black and white when it was appropriate to lower the flag, and when it was not right to do so.
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