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File #: 23-0305    Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 9/20/2022 In control: City Council Legislative Meeting
On agenda: 10/25/2022 Final action:
Title: Consideration of a Resolution to Adopt a City Flag/Flagpole Policy.[ROLL-CALL VOTE]
Attachments: 1. 23-0305_Flagpole Resolution, 2. 23-0305_Final Resolution - signed
City of Alexandria, Virginia
_____________

MEMORANDUM


DATE: OCTOBER 18, 2022

TO: THE HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL

THROUGH: JAMES F. PARAJON, CITY MANAGER /s/

FROM: JEREMY MCPIKE, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL SERVICES

DOCKET TITLE:
TITLE
Consideration of a Resolution to Adopt a City Flag/Flagpole Policy.[ROLL-CALL VOTE]
BODY


ISSUE: Policy regarding the use of City flag poles or other flag-flying locations owned by the City for official governmental speech; such flagpoles or other flag-flying locations owned by the City are expressly reserved for the City and not intended to be a public forum.

RECOMMENDATION: That City Council approve the attached resolution for the use of City flagpoles or other flag-flying locations owned by the City for official governmental speech.

BACKGROUND: On May 2, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States held, in Shurtleff v. Boston, that the City of Boston, Massachusetts violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment by barring a religious group from flying the Christian flag on a flagpole outside of Boston's city hall. Boston has three flagpoles near its city hall that generally display the flags of the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the City of Boston. On occasion, the City allows private parties to request permission to briefly display other flags on the third flagpole, usually in conjunction with events organized by those parties. Over a period of 12 years (2005 to 2017), the City of Boston did not deny any of the 284 requests made by private parties to display about 50 unique flags. However, when a religious group applied to display the Christian flag, the City denied its application citing concerns that displaying a flag called "the Christian flag" would violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause by signaling that the City was endorsing a particular religion. At the time, Boston did not have a written policy regarding the use of the flagpole...

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