Proposed Ordinance D-FY21-007
General Ordinance - Amend Administrative Code, Part III, Chapter 157
WHEREAS, In accordance with the provisions of the Bridgewater Home Rule Charter relative to amendments to the Administrative Code, it is therefore;
ORDERED, that; the Town Council of the Town of Bridgewater, Massachusetts in Town Council assembled vote to amend the Bridgewater Administrative Code, Part III, Chapter 157, by adoption of the following:
ARTICLE II. Flag Raising on Town Property
Section 1. Flag Raising
The Town of Bridgewater, acting through its Town Council, may allow the raising of a flag on the flagpole located at the Academy Building in observance of an event or occasion, subject to this ordinance (the “Ordinance”) and the attached rules appended to this Ordinance (the “Rules”), each as may be amended by the Town Council from time-to-time.
- Request Procedure. An organization or individual (in either case being resident in the Town of Bridgewater) may request that the Town raise a particular flag by written request presented to the Town Council Clerk. Such request must be received by the Town Council Clerk sufficiently in advance of a regularly scheduled meeting of the Town Council to conform with public notice requirements. The requested period of display (the “Period of Display”) may commence no sooner than thirty (30) days following receipt of the request by the Town Council Clerk.
The Town Council will consider approval of the request in accordance with all rules and procedures applicable to matters before the Town Council. A decision to approve or deny the raising of a flag is made in the sole and complete discretion of the Town Council.
2. Appropriate Events. The events and occasions for which a request pursuant to this Ordinance may be considered are limited to events or occasions designated within a formal proclamation duly issued by a governmental authority, as follows:
- A Proclamation issued by the President of the United States;
- A Proclamation issued by the Congress of the United States;
- A Proclamation issued by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; or
- A Proclamation issued by the Town Council of Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
3. Period of Display. The Period of Display of a flag to commemorate an event or occasion above-described shall be limited in the following manner:
- A flag raising intended to coordinate with a proclamation designating one (1) day of honor, recognition, celebration or remembrance shall be limited in duration to one (1) day of public display to take place on the date set-forth within the proclamation;
- A flag raising intended to coordinate with a proclamation designating one week of honor, recognition, celebration or remembrance shall be limited in duration to one (1) week of public display to commence and cease in accordance with the dates specified within the proclamation, or as closely thereto as practicable; and
- A flag raising intended to coordinate with a proclamation designating one (1) month of honor, recognition, celebration or remembrance shall be limited in duration to no less than one (1) week and no longer than (1) month of public display, such period to commence in accord with the earliest date set-forth within the proclamation, or as closely thereto as practicable.
4. Flag of the United States. During any Period of Display, a flag approved for public display in the manner permitted hereby shall be flown beneath the flag of the United States in a manner consistent with the United States Code (4 U.S.C. §7).
Section 2. Rules Governing Flag Raising
The Flag Raising Ordinance of the Town of Bridgewater (the “Ordinance”) shall be administered in accordance with the following rules (the “Rules”):
- At no time will the Town of Bridgewater display a flag deemed to be inappropriate or offensive in nature, or a flag supporting discrimination, prejudice or reference to any religious movement. A determination of impropriety in this regard shall be rendered by the Town Council in its sole discretion.
- A flag proposed for public display shall be considered for approval which features words, symbols, designs or colors customarily associated with the event or occasion to be commemorated and which does not otherwise, in the determination of Town Council, convey or suggest policies, positions or proposals beyond the intended scope of the proclamation with which it is purported to correspond.
- A photograph of the actual flag proposed for display under this Ordinance shall be provided to the Town Council Clerk together with the written request for display and shall be deemed to constitute a necessary component of the request.
- A flag proposed for display under this Ordinance shall be clean and serviceable, and corresponding in size with the flag of the United States beneath which it will be flown.
- Flag raisings must occur on a normal business day during regular business hours as may be determined appropriate by Town administration. Requests outside of normal business days hours cannot be accommodated.
- A flag delivered for public display must be presented to the Town Council Clerk during normal business days and regular business hours and, following the Period of Display, promptly retrieved from the Town Council Clerk. Neither the Town nor the Town Council Clerk shall bear responsible for flags not promptly retrieved.
- If the President or other appropriate authority orders that the U.S. Flag be flown at half-staff, no other flag may be flown therewith during the pendency of such order.
- The Town of Bridgewater shall bear no responsibility for the loss of or any damage to a flag presented for public display under this Policy.
- The Town Council may amend or rescind this Policy or the Rules hereunder at any time and any authorization for display made pursuant to this policy may be amended or withdrawn upon appropriate action by the Town Council for any reason.
Town officials have from time-to-time received requests seeking display upon Town premises of various flags intended to promote or celebrate events or causes of widely recognized societal, humanitarian, educational, patriotic, or environmental importance. This Ordinance is intended to establish parameters by which such requests may be considered for approval and to set-forth specific rules governing the administration of the Ordinance.