Thursday, 15 February 2018 06:25

Taber Pride Flag won’t fly on community flagpole this year

Written by  Demi Knight
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With Taber’s Pride in the Park Celebration fast approaching, the decision to fly the flag on the community flagpole has been repealed.

Based on a recent council vote, the Town has made the decision to deny the request that was made by the Taber Equality Alliance to fly the pride flag this coming June in Confederation Park during the celebration, and instead approved the motion that the flagpole will no longer be available to the community.
“We’re all very disappointed and surprised by this decision,” says Kathleen McKenzie, co-chair of Taber Equality Alliance Society.
“We did fly it last year, not without incident of course, but I think that just shows why we do still need to do this,” she added of the recent decision.
The request to fly the Pride flag this summer at the second annual Pride in the Park Celebration was submitted to the town council by the Taber Equality Alliance (TEA) back in November of last year.
However, after the first pride celebration was held in 2017 in the park, with the flag raised proudly on the community flagpole, the flag itself was subjected to vandalism twice in one week, once being burned and another time shredded. a recent statement from the town itself
 In releasing the recent statement Jan. 22, Taber’s town council seriously put into serious consideration the importance of protecting people and their property,
Also in the announcement they stated that they will be denying not only the TEA request, but all further requests to use the community flagpole to fly their own flags. Furthermore, the statement added that they will be changing the function of the flagpole from a community one to a designated flag pole that will fly only the Canadian, Albertan or Town of Taber flags.
The statement also went on to say that this motion does not prevent flags from being flown in Confederation Park on temporary flagpoles during events for which they have already rented the stage and/or the gazebo.
“The town encourages any group to fly their respective flags in whatever way they see fit during their events as long as it’s done with respect for town property,” said Andy Prokop, Mayor of Taber in the release.
With this news being presented, members of the TEA are disappointed by the decision however they are not discouraged. They were quick to say that although this may be a small setback for them, the Pride celebration will go on as planned this year, with just as much enthusiasm as before.
“The very first pride celebration that we held last year went so well, we had around three-hundred people there with speeches, music, talent and dignitaries there and it was a lot of fun,” says McKenzie.
“Although it’s disappointing that they won’t be flying the flag again this year, that won’t stop us from hosting this celebration again this year.”
McKenzie also added that the TEA is following up on the decision made by the Town Council to find more answers on the denial of their request within the near future.
However, as unpopular as this decision may be to some within the town, the Prokop says that he supports the Pride celebration and is excited for it to return once again this summer.
“We look forward to the Taber Pride Celebration occurring in June and wish the Taber Equality Alliance every success for their event.”
Upon the learning of the recent decision by the town council to get rid of the community flagpole, the TEA has been offered a new location at the provincial building to fly their flag outside of, during their Pride celebrations this year that will be taking place on June 2.

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