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City of Boston Files Ordinance to Update Flag Raising Policy

Mayor Michelle Wu and members of the Boston City Council today announced the filing of an ordinance to update the City’s process for raising flags on City Hall Plaza. Under the new process, a City Council resolution or mayoral proclamation will be required for a flag to be raised. The proposed ordinance will enable the City to continue to celebrate flag raisings while complying with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the City’s previous process, which clarified the affirmative role required of the City government in maintaining the flag pole as a site for expressing the City’s values and ideals.  

The ordinance was filed by Councilor Kenzie Bok, Council President Ed Flynn and Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune. 

“I am grateful for the partnership of the Boston City Council in ensuring future flag raisings comply with the Supreme Court’s decision while empowering us to resume the celebrations of our City’s cultures and communities,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I’m glad we have a clear way to resolve these legal issues and bring back the beloved traditions we’ve been missing during these proceedings.” 

"I think it's urgent that we at the City of Boston codify a formal policy to use our flagpoles in ways that express our City's values and intended messages, as the Supreme Court decision allows us to do,” said Councilor Kenzie Bok. “I'm proud to be working with President Flynn and Councilor Louijeune in hopes that our Council can put that law on the books next week."

"The flags that we raise at City Hall Plaza should reflect and celebrate our City’s values, and this ordinance lays out a formal process that will allow us to do that,” said City Council President Ed Flynn. “I want to thank Councilors Bok and Louijeune for co-sponsoring this important ordinance with me. I look forward to working with everyone on its swift passage.”

"We have a rich city of diverse people and ethnic backgrounds that we want to celebrate while we are doing the work to uplift communities,” said Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune. “This flag-raising ordinance clarifies and codifies the process for flag-raisings and the messages that we as a city want to convey each time a ceremonial flag is raised."

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