SLO to rethink flag lowering policy
March 5, 2013
The San Luis Obispo City Council will consider adopting changes to its flag display policy tonight, nearly three months after city management ordered employees to raise flags staffers had lowered in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
On December 7, the day which President Barack Obama declared National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, some city staffers placed flags at half-staff. But, city management ordered the flags raised to the top of the poles because Mayor Jan Marx had not directed staff to lower the flags, in accordance with city policy.
After the ordered flag raising, Mayor Jan Marx said she found out about the half-mast request after management had already denied it. San Luis Obispo staffers accused city officials of snubbing the president and the victims of Pearl harbor, and police officer Matt Blackstone reprimanded Assistant City Manager Michael Codron by email.
“Calling it your job doesn’t make it right, boss,” Blackstone wrote. “You are second in command of the city, fix it please.”
Now Codron is proposing changes to the policy.
At the council meeting tonight, Codron will recommend adding Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day to the list of days the city flies its flags at half-staff. Codron is also recommending the council add September 11 and the California fallen firefighters day to the list that already includes Memorial Day and Peace Officer’s Memorial Day.
Current flag display policy allows the mayor to fly American flags at half-staff following the death of a prominent citizen or an employee of San Luis Obispo. Two months prior to Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Marx directed city staff to lower the flags in honor of former city council member Myron Graham, who died at the age of 99.
Codron is also recommending that the council alter the policy such that the mayor can only call for the lowering of the San Luis Obispo city flag in Mission Plaza, and not the city’s American flags, following the death of a prominent citizen or employee.
The council meets at 6 p.m. tonight at City Hall.