(File photo courtesy Municipality of Chatham-Kent)(File photo courtesy Municipality of Chatham-Kent)

UPDATE: CK flag raising policy set in stone with one change

Chatham-Kent Council has approved a formal flag raising policy with one amendment.

There will be no new $10,000 community flag pole at the Civic Centre to fly community flags after councillor Marjorie Crew asked for that part of the policy to be removed.

Crew said there is no need for a new separate community flag pole because all community flags can be flown on the same flag poles flying the Canada, Ontario, and Chatham-Kent flags at the different municipal sites.

She also said it saves Legion members outside of Chatham from being bused to the Civic Centre in Chatham to raise their individual branch flags during Legion Week and they can still fly their flags at their own individual municipal sites.

"Community groups in different towns like Dresden, or Wallaceburg, or wherever, people like the Legion, they don't want to put all the Legion people on a bus to come and put the flag up at the Civic Centre in Chatham. That made a lot of sense. So, I think this really works well. May not be perfect and I'm sure there's going to be some bugs to work out," said Crew.

The vote was 13-5 with councillors Bondy, Finn, Anderson, Doyle, and Jubenville voting against the policy.

All requests for flag-flying must be made to the Manager of Corporate Communications, but Bondy and Jubenville didn't believe one person should be making those decisions and wanted Council to have that power.

Council was reminded it will have the power to hear and decide appeals in case of a dispute.

Original article was published on May 24, 2024.


Chatham-Kent Council is set to vote on an official policy governing the raising of flags.

A report going before councillors on Monday night recommends the approval of the policy.

Monday night's Council meeting will be held at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham due to a larger than expected public turnout. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. and will take place in the grand ballroom.

Council asked administration last year to develop a policy and protocol to provide "clear direction" and an "administrative framework" for the proper and consistent use of flags and flagpoles at all municipal facilities.

Chatham-Kent General Manager of Corporate Services Cathy Hoffman wrote in her report that administration researched and reviewed several other municipalities’ flag policies to prepare for a proposed flag policy.

"The purpose of this protocol is to ensure that any flags flown at Municipality of Chatham-Kent sites are displayed properly, and with dignity and respect for whom the flags are flown," said Hoffman.

Hoffman said flag raising ceremonies are held at times, but they can occur with or without an accompanying ceremony.

The proposed policy states that flags will be raised temporarily on a new $10,000 flagpole at the Civic Centre.

"It is not recommended to have a community flagpole at every municipal location or municipal centre due to cost of erecting and maintain the flags and the flag poles and staff time to tend to these flagpoles for each community request," Hoffman said.

Flags will fly for visiting dignitaries, for groups and organizations whose mandates, programs or activities are directly related to the municipality or correspond with relevant days of awareness, celebration, importance, commemoration, or promotion.

Hoffman wrote the municipality will not fly the flag of a group or organization whose "undertakings or philosophy are contrary to the municipality", including but not limited to espousing hatred, violence, or racism, or are politically or religiously motivated or "represent other individual convictions or deemed to be discriminatory" under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Flags will not be flown for businesses or commercial enterprises.

If the new flag-raising policy is approved, all requests for flag-flying must be made to the Manager of Corporate Communications office six weeks prior to the requested date by completing the online application on the municipal website.

Council will hear and decide appeals in case of a dispute.

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