This Land is Ours. Let’s Keep it That Way.
While driving I-94 last week between Milwaukee and Madison, my husband, Brad, and I stopped at one of our beautiful Wisconsin waysides. We were disgusted to see the “Progress Pride Flag” flying alongside the POW-MIA flag.
Earlier this month, Tony Evers issued an executive order to fly this flag over the state capitol and during the flag-raising ceremony described himself as “jazzed as hell” to be presiding over the event. He went on to say, “It’s a signal that I will always stand with LGBTQ Wisconsinites, including our trans and gender non-conforming kids, and will fight to protect them with every tool and every power that I have.”
The “Pride” flag is now the “Progress Pride Flag.” In 2018 David Quasar, who describes himself as non-binary and goes by the pronouns xe/xyr, added some features to represent LGBTQ people of color, transgender people and those living with or having died of HIV or AIDS.
Our wayside discovery prompted me to dig into who has the authority to decide which flag flies over them. I learned the Wisconsin Statutes specify that “waysides permanently display a POW/MIA flag on an outdoor flagpole.” I was unable to learn who was responsible for debasing this recognition of those who served, and sacrificed so much, with the controversial “Progress Pride Flag.”
The Governor currently has the authority to determine which flags fly over the north and east wings of the Capitol. The south and west wings fly the American flag when the legislative bodies are in session, a decision of the Senate and Assembly, respectively. I don’t know how this came to be, but it needs to change.
The ideological divisions among us are deep and wide and a governor who is for the people would seek to strengthen our common bonds rather than fan the flames of division. The public spaces in our state are owned by its citizens. Politicians from both parties, who have shown themselves to favor division as a political strategy, should not be allowed to use our property to advance controversial political agendas or tout the special interests of segments of the population. We can make it clear to them that the only flags we want to see flying over our public buildings are the flags of the United States of America and the state of Wisconsin. The unique presentation of the POW/MIA flag throughout Wisconsin has been codified into law. This was news to me, and I suspect to many others. It is a special case that most are likely to support.
As free people, we live and let live. We tolerate ideas and choices we don’t agree with as long as they do not infringe on our rights. We are all free to celebrate whatever we choose. However, the “Progress Pride Flag” does not belong at our Capitol or any other public space. It is yet another attempt to force mainstream society to embrace a liberal ideology that is a lie.
As we celebrate our freedom on the 4th of July, hold tight to the truth about our priceless heritage - we are the freest people in the world and this land is ours. Let’s keep it that way.