Mayor proposes flying rainbow flag

The city's first openly gay mayor, Chris Clark, has proposed another first: flying the rainbow flag on a city hall flag pole.

"The rainbow flag is a symbol not just of the LGBT community but tolerance and diversity in general," Clark said Tuesday, making his pitch to fly the flag "for a day or two, or a weekend" at some point in June, which is pride month for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Clark asked the council's procedures committee to consider it, as he said he took a look at city policies about flags and "there wasn't anything around non-official flags."

Council members were largely supportive, though there were some concerns about how the city would now have to figure out how to treat other groups wanting to fly a flag. They voted 5-1 to consider the idea and maybe draft a policy allowing use of city flag poles.

John Inks voted no.

"I don't know how I would react if someone wanted to display a flag for pro-marriage or right-to-life," Inks said. "Until we've had a policy in place to determine what's appropriate, I think I'll hold off on this."

Council member Margaret Abe-Koga noted that the city of San Jose often flies the flags of other countries, and member Ronit Bryant said having a flag pole to "fly 'a flavor of the day flag' would actually be a lot of fun."

"In 2011, an Armenian group asked us to fly a flag and some Germans asked us to fly a flag and we said no," said council member Jac Siegel. "It's not that I'm not in favor of it but I'm trying to be fair to everybody."

No one from the public opposed the idea. "If you do something for one group, you really should do it for others as well," said council candidate Jim Neal.

Resident Don Bahl talked about the importance of the American flag and the city and federal rules for how it is used at City Hall.

"The flag is wrapped up with our feeling of American pride," Bahl said. "This flag was flown over the White House on Sept 11 2001. It was flown for Trina Bahl, my wife." Holding another flag, he said, "This flag covered the coffin of my wife's brother," a combat fighter pilot in Vietnam. "We should honor the flag and we should abide by the rules."

Clark clarified that the rainbow flag would not replace any of the flags flown at City Hall: the U.S. flag, California state flag and city flag. "This would fly below the city flag," Clark said.


Posted by I say sure, go for it, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 16, 2014 at 5:03 pm

I admire how he's going about requesting it as well and not trying to just force it down anyone's throats.

Posted by ohboy, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm

I can't wait for all the intolerant comments from our "right-leaning" city residents....

Posted by Nick, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm

With all the challenges in this town, it's great to see our council focusing on which flag to fly... nice priorities, Chris Clark. Once again, only Inks has any common sense.

Posted by Jim, a resident of Castro City
on Jun 16, 2014 at 10:49 pm

I`m going to fly my company flag over city hall, great advertisement and it will probably be free!

Posted by Sad, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 16, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Very sad to see how many homophobes are still around.... :(

Posted by PA Resident, a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2014 at 7:48 am

I suppose you could fly a Google flag, or a Giants flag too. Now that the precedent is set almost anything goes.

Posted by MVResident67, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 17, 2014 at 8:32 am


Curious...what comments on this thread do you perceive to be homophobic?

Posted by Snark Busters, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 17, 2014 at 9:41 am

For those who want to fly a company flag, yes, you could also propose to do that and have the council vote on it. Go for it.

Also, Nick, are you capable of handling small issues along with larger issues? Multi-tasking is a mandated skill set for most all Silicon Vally companies. That's what you're seeing here if it looks new to you.

Posted by Rebel, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 17, 2014 at 10:21 am

Lets see if they will let me fly my confederate flag since im originally from the south .Let's see if they practice there same tolerance to my request to the flag i love flying high at city hall !

Posted by Cosmopolite, a resident of Castro City
on Jun 17, 2014 at 10:46 am

I do not give a flying... flag. But why gays are better than Armenians or Germans?

Posted by Supportive, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 17, 2014 at 11:18 am

This was not a decision between one or another.
If you have another group, with another flag, bring it up!

Since I'm familiar with the continued discrimination and have seen the extraordinary efforts needed for gays to get the same rights as straight, I support the flag.

Is there a similar struggle going on with companies or other nationalities?
Any Armenians or Germans needing to go to the Supreme court just to get married? If so I'll support that struggle for equality as well.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 17, 2014 at 11:51 am

"Nick, are you capable of handling small issues along with larger issues?"

The lack of housing in Mountain View is not being "handled".

Web Link

Posted by Wonderful Logic, a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm

New rule. Nothing gets done until every issue is fixed to everyone's liking.
You people are hilarious.

Posted by Dr Adviceo, a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 17, 2014 at 1:20 pm

I N K S gets my V O T E !!!!

Posted by kevin, a resident of Gemello
on Jun 17, 2014 at 2:18 pm

How about a Christian flag. Or a cross. What about a Google flag, they own most of the city council anyways. That Rainbow flag would not offer the feeling of inclusion. Just the opposite. It only represents one faction, not the whole City, state or country. Mt View is so screwed up as a city and this is what the Mayor is worried about. Hey how about we make a new flag, one that includes all nationalities, sexual orientations, religious affiliations, ETC. It could have every color in the world on it.

Posted by mari posa, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Thank you, John Inks, for your sound comments! My respect for everybody, but I don't expect to raise or "fly" a flag for any other sexual tendency, so why for gays? Shall we raise our flag in support for morality, respect of life at all stages, freedom of religion, and other rights? I thought a flag represents a country, in this case our great country with freedom and respect for all, not a flag that represents any sexual tendency. I would keep that private!
Thank you again, John Inks, for representing the sentiments of most of all Mountain View residents. I will keep note for whom I should vote next!

Posted by lotta crap, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm

I am not against any gender or sexual orientation,etc..Everybody should have equal rights. But I don't like any minority groups trying to force their beleifs on the rest of us who either don't like it or don't care about it any significant way. What makes it special to fly a rainbow flag? What about the confederates? Shouldn't they have their wish fulfilled as well. Why does rainbow flag have to be flown in a public building? does the mayor want everyone else to embrace/accept everything. What about some other minority group like Arabs or Turks or Hindus or Communists want to fly their own flag? Why should n't they city be used to fly those flags so that they don't feel ignored. This is all BS. What does he want..the whole down painted in pink?

Posted by mari posa, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 17, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Well said Lotta Crap! Unfortunately Mr. Clark forgot to peg the rainbow flag to his campaign add. I wonder how many vote would had he gotten!

Posted by svsportz, a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 17, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Just listen to the old hate-filled goofs spew their hanity-rush-oriley meanness around our city. Time for you hate-mongers to pack up and move to Texas.

Posted by bodhi, a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Jun 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm

thank you, chris...

Posted by rolo, a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 17, 2014 at 3:51 pm

OMG ! Whats next ...Oh well , I can't *itch & moan.. I stopped VOTING on
all levels of goverment .. Frankly , I don't care what local - state - federal
goverment do......

Posted by Sad, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 17, 2014 at 4:06 pm

"@Sad: Curious...what comments on this thread do you perceive to be homophobic? "


Posted by Dennis, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 17, 2014 at 4:19 pm

No flag or flags should ever fly in an American community except "Old Glory," and the state flag. Also just a word about the "gay." flag in general. It is a shame that the image of a rainbow that is used by so many others, especially children, in their artwork and stories, etc. has been literally hijacked by the Gay community as their symbol when there are so many different and unique flags they could have made. Now nowhere can an image of a rainbow be used without referencing the gay community in some way just by the public power of association.

Posted by jane, a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 17, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Looking forward to seeing the rainbow flag flying in Mountain View. Diversity and Inclusion are important so a hearty "THANKS" if we actually see this happen. Echoing other thoughts, we so not see Christians persecuted or denied marriage here in Mountain View,so the suggestion that a Christian flag fly is not really celebrating inclusion.

Posted by Greg David, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 17, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

Why is council even wasting time on this?

There should be three flags and only three flags flying at City Hall.

United States of America
State of California
City of Mountain View

(OK, maybe Santa Clara County too)

If you allow any other flags, you will have to allow them all....

Nation Flags
Fraternal Organizations
etc., etc., etc.........................................

Yet another subject council is devoting time to that is simply in appropriate and should be obvious.

People point their fingers at Ink like he's some kind of bad person, but he is the only council member that is truly using common sense.

Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2014 at 2:17 am

Sparty is a registered user.

Put up a rainbow sign next to the sign on Shoreline with Rotary etc etc. (by Safeway)

Problem solved.

Posted by chuck mangione, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 18, 2014 at 4:53 pm

chuck mangione is a registered user.

"I admire how he's going about requesting it as well and not trying to just force it down anyone's throats."


Posted by Mtviewresident, a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 18, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Mtviewresident is a registered user.

I'm wondering why this is worthy of the City's time. It's inappropriate to hang a flag regarding sexuality at City Hall. It's inappropriate to waste taxpayer money on this issue. It's beyond ridiculous... As if I were to hang a flag on my door to express my heterosexuality. I'm sure my very down-to-earth neighbors would tilt their heads at the very least. While this may be a symbol of tolerance to the Mayor, it's meaning is not tolerance, but a reference to sexual preference. And I'm wondering why anyone's sexual preference is important in my neighborhood politics? It's irrelevant, so why bring it up? It's way too much information and frankly I don't care who is gay or straight and don't need to discuss it or see a flag about it. I'm hoping this is not an indicator of what is to come. If this is the sort of topic being dealt with at City Hall, there is no doubt that more important topics are not being addressed.

Posted by Bikes2work, a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 18, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Bikes2work is a registered user.

Palo Alto already does this. What's the big deal?

Web Link

Posted by MVresident, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2014 at 12:38 pm

MVresident is a registered user.

Why does the left always respond to free speech they don't like with comments like 'move to Texas'? Free speech is for all regardless of view points and is just as valid in Mountain View as in Dallas. Rebel actually raises a good question above; what if the mayor wanted to fly the flag of the confederacy? Is that really any different than flying some other flag that also has connotations associated with it? Let's hope the council wastes no more time on this. As others have already pointed above the only flags flying should be the USA and CA State ones.

Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2014 at 5:04 am

Sparty is a registered user.

I'm all for it as long as they also allow the Gonzales Flag to be rotated in. And whatever other flag certain groups want.

Appoint a commission to study how long each flag should be allowed to fly, and also who is unworthy of being allowed to use the flagpole

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