OAN’s James Meyers
1:56 PM – Wednesday, November 15, 2023
A Massachusetts town has approved flying the Palestine flag for a month with the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
The Palestine flag was raised on Tuesday after the Democrat led town North Andover approved it after a town hall meeting the previous night that had furious arguments.
Pro-Palestine supporters have argued for several weeks in the town that it’s only right that the Palestine flag should be raised, after an Israel flag was hoisted following the Hamas terror attacks on October 7th.
The Israel flag had been flown from October 7th to November 9th. On October 16th, student Selma Khayal called for the Palestine flag to be flown from November 7th until December 7th.
She made the request just six hours before the small town updated its flag-flying policies.
The old policy allowed anyone to petition for a flag to be flown after approval by the Select Board “resulting in the flagpole being considered a public forum.”
But with the new policy, flags being flown in the town will be limited to “statements of governmental speech only,” citing the unanimous Supreme Court ruling in Shurtleff v. Boston.
The town voted unanimously in a 9-0 vote in favor of Khayal’s request.
“It is the policy of North Andover (Town) that its flag poles located at the Town Common are not intended to serve as a forum for free expression by the public, but rather as expressions of the Town’s official sentiments,” the updated policy reads.
Due to Khayal’s request coming before they changed the policy, the board treated the request under the old policy and allowed it to be discussed at a Select Board Meeting.
During the meeting multiple people were escorted out of North Andover High School after screaming at attendees during the meeting on Monday.
The meeting was originally scheduled for November 6th, but was postponed due to threats of litigation and public safety concerns.
It has also been reported that local Police have been called multiple times to the Town Common since the flag was raised.
The Department of Public Works had to tie a knot at the top of the rope, stopping people from taking down the flag.
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