• "Appeal To Heaven" Flag Raising Request Denied In Greenwich (While Pride Flag Flies At Town Hall)

    June 7, 2024
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    (From our friends to the north at The Connecticut Centinal. --Ed.)


    The Town has rejected a number of other flag raising requests from conservatives ... meanwhile the transgender pride flag is flying at Greenwich Town Hall.

    Transgender Pride Flag raised over Greenwich Town Hall (6/2/24)

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    We requested a raising of the "Appeal to Heaven" flag in order to honor and celebrate the revolutionary history of Greenwich, and to serve as a reminder of the values and principles upon which America was built.

    The Appeal to Heaven flag is an especially unique symbol of New England dating back to the American Revolution.  The pine tree, a symbol of New England itself, represents our area's greatest natural resource and best export at the time, lumber.  

    During the American Revolution in Greenwich, General Israel Putnam made a daring escape from the British on February 26, 1779.  Even though British forces captured and sacked Greenwich, Putnam was at least able to warn the residents of Stamford. 

    In fact, that very same scene of his ride to Stamford is celebrated on the seal of the Town of Greenwich, the "Gateway to New England."

    Screenshot, Town of Greenwich

    Of course, we'll be the first to admit we don't have a very good track record of making requests of Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo so it's not surprising he rejected this request too. He rejects all of our requests. It's as if none of our requests matter to him because of the personal beef he has with us.

    He apparently thinks we are "extremists" for wanting to preserve parental rights, for speaking the truth about dangerous covid vaccines, and more.

    Plus we understand he's still bent out of shape over how we memed his mask hypocrisy during the covid plandemic when the unscientific rules applied to children in school but not to politicians like himself.

    Since that time, we have on multiple occasions requested a pro-life flag raising to recognize the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children” and the right to life in general.

    Those requests were denied.

    We requested a Gadsden flag raising which was almost immediately denied.

    More recently, we requested a flag raising to celebrate the birthday of a very famous former resident of the Town of Greenwich, Donald Trump.

    This was apparently an unusual request.

    First Selectman Camillo's Assistant (and former Greenwich Time reporter) Ken Borsuk said it was the first time anyone had requested a flag raising to pay tribute to an individual, so he had to check with the Legal Department about the request.

    Here's the response from Legal:

    Upon review it has been determined that your request on behalf of the Greenwich Patriots will not be approved under the flag policy. What you are asking for is considered political partisan speech and a request to support an individual presidential candidate (or any political candidate for that matter) and would not be approved.  I have attached the Town of Greenwich’s Flag Display Policy for your review and I will note the key areas. It states the Town of Greenwich’s flagpoles “are not intended to serve as a forum for free expression by the public.” The policy also states that any flags displayed on a Town flagpole must “reflect the Town’s official sentiments as government speech and expression consistent with the Town’s mission and priorities.”  In addition, you would need an endorsement of the First Selectmen or any other Selectperson. Any flag raising requested by a Town resident must be done in conjunction with an official Town endorsed event or ceremony. Your request cannot be endorsed for the foregoing reasons. 

    If after reading this you thought to yourself, "gee, isn't the transgender pride flag a partisan political symbol?" you would be wrong according to Borsuk.

    "That being said, the best of my understanding is that Pride Month is a federally recognized event and the rainbow flag is not considered a partisan symbol," said Borsuk.

    Really? The transgender pride flag is not considered a partisan symbol? Is he serious?

    The Greenwich Democrats literally put the transgender pride flag raising, which was funded by the very left-wing Leonard Litz / Circle Care Pride Coalition, on its "Democratic Action Calendar" according to the most recent newsletter.

    Screenshot, Greenwich Democrats newsletter

    By contrast, the Greenwich Republicans did not advertise the transgender flag raising as an "action" item.

    Nor did they email the entire RTC membership about joining an event paid for by a member of the highly controversial WPATH, the World Professional Association for Trans Health. The same WPATH that was just exposed for performing pseudoscientific surgical and hormonal experiments on gender-confused youth, adolescents and adults.

    Screenshot, circle care center

    How is the transgender pride flag not considered a partisan symbol when it's specifically listed as an "action item" for one political party and not the other? And when it's funded by a left-wing activist group? Weird, right?

    We asked both First Selectman Camillo and his assistant to kindly help us understand how the progress pride flag is not considered, at least by them, to be a partisan symbol.

    Oddly enough, they never responded to the question.

    It's not just Greenwich Patriots flag raising requests that have been denied.

    First Selectman Camillo has previously rejected and/or ignored requests to raise other flags, including Blue Lives Matter, Space Force, U.S. Merchant Marines, Vietnam War Veterans, and a D-DAY flag to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the landings on the beaches of Normandy by Allied forces.

    At the same time, Camillo has permitted other flag raising requests perceived by some to be controversial and/or politically-motivated, such as the Ukraine flag, which was raised before the Town's new flag policy went into effect, and even the flag of Israel, which was just raised last month.

    The complete list of flags approved for 2024 can be found here, and include Red Cross Month in March, Pride Month, Juneteenth, Albanian-American Independence Day, and others.

    The new "hybrid" flag policy, which was adopted for 2024, appears to have been specifically designed to block requests for flags like the Gadsden and Blue Lives Matter, coincidentally both favored by conservatives. Much like the long list of other flags that have been rejected.

    Screenshot, Town of Greenwich Board of Selectmen Meeting (1/25/24)

    It's kind of hard to see how this policy is not discriminatory and violates the right to freedom of expression.

    The policy is that you can only have a flag raising request approved in Greenwich if someone from the Board of Selectmen (BOS) endorses it and the Town has "an official Town endorsed event or ceremony." But what criteria does the BOS use to make the selections? Why aren't those criteria made public? Is the decision entirely subjective? Because that's how it appears to those whose requests have been denied time and again.

    Also, if the Town Legal department said the Town of Greenwich’s flagpoles “are not intended to serve as a forum for free expression by the public,” why is the transgender pride flag permitted? Is it permitted just because it was permitted before the new flag policy was adopted, and was grandfathered into the new flag policy? Isn't that subjective? Isn't that granting "free expression" to just a hand-selected group of people for a privately-funded celebration while excluding other groups who now have to go through an approval process that lacks objective evaluation criteria?

    Why does it feel like First Selectman Camillo is using his new flag policy as a shield to openly discriminate against conservative requests, especially Greenwich Patriots' requests?

    Is he using the power of the First Selectman's office to screen out certain flag requests before they can even go onto the BOS for a reading where the community would have an opportunity to opine?

    What did First Selectman Camillo mean when he said "sometimes flags can take on different meanings then they were intended for" when he was talking about the Gadsden and Blue Lives Matters flags? Aren't those his personal, subjective views about the meanings of those flags? What objective criteria did he use to reach those conclusions? Or is that just what the progressive media says?

    What did Camillo mean when he said, "The Board of Selectmen included today’s flag raising on a list of yearly events that we recognize as important to the community. It is my hope that all of the ones that we approved continue in years to come until ones such as today [transgender pride flag raising] are not needed”? Is he suggesting that at some point the transgender pride flag will no longer need to be raised? If so, how will that determination be made? More subjective criteria?

    A similar flag raising issue was raised in Boston in 2021.

    In Shurtleff v. City of Boston, 142 S. Ct. 1583 (2022), the Supreme Court held that the City of Boston violated the First Amendment by refusing to allow Camp Constitution to raise a religious flag in City Hall Plaza. Boston allows organizations to apply for a permit to raise a flag of their choosing on the flagpole at City Hall, not unlike the process Greenwich has adopted.

    Boston denied the application to raise a “Christian Flag” featuring a cross, indicating that this flag-raising "would constitute government endorsement of religion and violate the Establishment Clause" of the Constitution.

    The lower court decided in favor of the City of Boston, but a unanimous ruling from the Supreme Court reversed that decision, finding that Boston violated Camp Constitution’s Free Speech rights.

    "When the government speaks for itself, Free Speech protections do not apply—the government is allowed to communicate one message and not another.  This has become known as the “government speech doctrine.”  But the government violates the Free Speech clause if it selectively prohibits private speech based on the message it conveys," said the Boston Bar Association.

    Has the Town of Greenwich created a public forum for private expression with its new "hybrid" flag policy that allows a privately-funded event to take place for one group but not for others?

    Wouldn't a more fair and inclusive policy be to fly only the American flag, the Connecticut flag and the Town of Greenwich flag, especially since these flags are the only flags inclusive of everyone in our community?

    Ultimately, the Appeal to Heaven flag raising request was denied but the TRANSGENDER FLAG still flies freely above Town Hall.

    Just like the TRANSGENDER FLAG flew on D-Day in Greenwich because the D-Day flag was also rejected by First Selectman Fred Camillo.

    Screenshot, Email from Ken Borsuk (6/7/24)
    Public Domain.

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