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Letter: Response to Article on Flag
Letter to the Editor,
03:10PM / Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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To the Editor:

Re: your recent article about the proposed Progress Pride flag in Williamstown, there are two statements that call for a response.

A well-intentioned interviewee is quoted as saying:

"Some people say it's obvious that Williams is accepting and there's no need [for a flag]," he said. "They also, in the same post, say the flag is divisive and controversial. Well, which is it?" (I assume that "Williams" is meant to be Williamstown. Editor: this error was fixed.)

The answer to this either/or thinking is that it is of course possible that two things are true at the same time. A person or place can be entirely welcoming to all but not be in agreement with the wishes and ideologies of all. That placing the Pride flag on equal footing with the USA flag is controversial, emphatically does not mean that those who oppose this are bigots.

The interviewee goes on to say:

"You can say this isn't about the flag and that it's about flags in general. But I think we all know it's not. Only people who have a problem with this flag are going to make that argument. And it's your right to be upset about [the Progress Pride flag]. But I don't appreciate the veiling."

This is particularly offensive in its ad hominem implication that people who are opposed to the Pride Flag's elevation to a status equal to that of the Stars and Stripes, are veiling an agenda that's biased against what the Pride Flag stands for.

Personally speaking, I dislike it when people presume to read my mind when they haven't an inkling as to my history, my work, and my causes. For 35 years I taught and directed theater at Pittsfield High School in a program known for its diversity. By their own testimony, it was also regarded as one of the safest and most accepting places for members of the LGBTQ community within the school. I even had the temerity to produce "The Rocky Horror Show" — despite objections from some city residents. That production had an enormous impact on the climate of the school.

Actions, not flags. And, honestly, I'd rather look at trees as opposed to any flags.

Ralph Hammann
Williamstown, Mass. 




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