December 8, 2021

Homer won’t fly flag in support of police

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Traffic is shown on Main Street in downtown Homer in this 2019 Cortland Standard file photo.

The town of Homer will not fly a flag in support of law enforcement, after town officials determined the town’s flag pole could not accommodate three flags at half-staff, should they need to be flown that way.

The debate over flying the flag comes as the Black Lives Matter movement continues to protest against police brutality and push to reallocate some funds from police departments to other social services in communities.

“While I received positive remarks about the town flying the flag, there are others who have received negative comments regarding that,” said Fred Forbes, town supervisor.

He did not go into further detail.

The board voted Wednesday, 5-0, to leave up just the two flags they have now — an American flag and a Missing in Action/Prisoner of War flag.

In August, the board voted, 4-1, to fly a flag to support law enforcement. Board member Kevin Williams was the only board member to vote no and raised concerns over flying the flag.

“I’m opposed to turning that flag pole into a political discussion,” Williams had said.

Williams had one addition to the motion Wednesday evening, though — he wanted to replace the current American flag.

“It’s kind of old and beat up,” he said.

No one objected.

The decision comes one day after the city of Cortland voted to postpone painting a Back the Blue mural — and any murals until April 2021 — and remove a Black Lives Matter mural that is now at the intersection of Court and Main streets.