Carnes: Not elected to wave flags
Remember back when the town of Vail flew those flags promoting Hilary Clinton for president while the town of Eagle was flying flags for that grifter who ended up pretending to be the leader of the free world for a bit?
Man, it really pitted those two towns against one another, what with all the protests and fighting that followed between longtime friends and even family members. It was almost like every individual in each town was immediately and completely pigeonholed as a blind follower to whichever candidate the town’s leaders chose to support via flag-waving.
But then again, none of that actually ever happened, for as opposed to a town like Aspen declaring itself a nuclear-free zone, the towns of Vail and Eagle didn’t waste time and taxpayer money serving meat-free philosophical sandwiches.
This is why I was not in favor of the town of Avon’s annual controversy over flying the Pride flag. Sure, it’s fine to wave for a few weeks to promote a town-sponsored event that I personally support, but it’s wrong to use a public pulpit for community expressions that can easily be misconstrued as personal agendas and most certainly are not representative of the entire community.
Same goes for the Ukrainian flag and now the flag of Israel.
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If Avon raised the Israeli flag and both Vail and Eagle refrained from doing so, does that mean Vail and Eagle, along with each of their citizens, are obviously pledging support for Hamas?
Of course not, and I feel a little bit dumber for even having to write the sentence.
But all the more reason for local elected officials (i.e. friends, neighbors, a real estate agent, ski instructor or perhaps the person managing your favorite coffee shop) to stay in their lane and stick with what they were elected for in the first place — making both menial and important decisions for the long-term benefit of the entire community, and not to promote personal positions on national and international issues.
There are those declaring to never shop in Avon again and those vowing to only shop in Avon from now on, which only serves to further divide us all, but at least none of them so far are acting like congressional GOP members wanting to “take it outside.”
I personally stand firmly behind my Jewish friends, neighbors and Israel’s continued efforts to rescue the kidnapped and quite literally do whatever it takes to protect themselves from religious fanatics and their never-ending pledges to “wipe all Jews from the face of the earth.”
Each of us should do whatever we feel is personally necessary, whether it be donating money or time to specific causes benefitting Israel and/or the Palestinian refugees, writing Congressional leaders or letters to the Vail Daily, waving flags in the yard or off the porch, etc., but just because the First Amendment also applies to all non-legislative branches of government doesn’t mean it should be used at every opportunity.
The potential for misuse is glaringly obvious, for Town Council members were not elected to represent us on a national level, nor should they be expected to do so.
And for the record, Avon also became a “Nuclear-Free Zone” back in 1987.
The United States, Colorado and town of Avon flags should always fly as they are clearly symbolic of local, state and national identity evoking pride and patriotism, hope and freedom, and should remain waving in perpetuity.
Now, if Avon’s elected officials wish to fly a Broncos flag from time to time, well, that’s another story.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com.