State bill would ban flying most flags on government property

Published: Mar. 25, 2023 at 10:00 AM EDT
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The U.S. flag, the Florida flag and the six-color gay pride flag fly outside Lake Worth Beach City Hall.

"We respect the United States flag of America of course," Lake Worth Beach Mayor Betty Resch said. "It's always going to be right on top, but every community has its own flavor."

She said her city is inclusive to all people, including the LGBTQ+ community. "It's a symbol of letting people know that they're welcome and that we're celebrating who they are," she said.

HB 1011 states local governments “may, for exhibition or display, only expose the following flags to public view:” the state flag, the U.S. flag, the POW-MIA flag or the official state firefighter memorial flag.

WFLX contacted the bill sponsor, Rep. David Borrero, R-Miami-Dade County, earlier this week but he has not returned WFLX’s calls or emails.

WFLX also spoke to several people in West Palm Beach to get their thoughts on this legislation. Some supported it, saying they like the idea of keeping things simple and not having more flags on display. But they did not want to go on camera.

Rolando Chang Barrero said the Pride flag is about celebrating diversity.

"I'm not sure if that's the place for them, but I sure like them there," he said. "I like feeling welcomed."

Resch echoed the support of inclusivity and took issue with the state dictating what local cities should do.

"It feels very intrusive to have the legislature in Tallahassee tell us what flags we can fly on our streets," Resch said. The bill does not directly or specifically target flags like the Pride flag or others. But it does limit which flags can be flown on state and local government grounds. If passed, the new law would take effect July 1.

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