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Nashua retires the New Hampshire state flag and replaces it with the Pride flag at City Hall

The New Hampshire state flag was removed from the pole at right on Monday, June 17, 2024 and replaced with the Progress Pride Flag.

The flag continues to fly in the Gate City.

Just days after refusing to allow the historic Pine Tree Flag to be flown on the flagpoles in front of City Hall, Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess and his administration tore down the New Hampshire state flag on Monday and replaced it with the “Progress Pride” flag.

Monday was also the 249th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Beth Scaer, the resident who had asked to fly the Pine Tree Flag, noticed that the city had removed the New Hampshire flag and took photos of the Pride banner. She also circled City Hall to confirm that the state flag was not flying.

The New Hampshire state flag was removed from the pole at right on Monday, June 17, 2024 and replaced with the Progress Pride Flag.

Emails to Donchess, the city's “risk manager,” Jennifer L. Deshaies, who is in charge of flagpoles, and other Nashua city officials went unanswered Monday.

The Progress Pride flag is a variation of the more popular rainbow pride flag that represents LGBT rights. According to the group Human Rights Campaign, the Progress Pride flag additionally features a white, pink and light blue stripe to represent the transgender community, as well as black and brown stripes for communities of color.

Donchess opposed the Pine Tree Flag, with its historical roots in New Hampshire's revolutionary era, claiming it is “a symbol of violence against local, state and national government.” A handful of participants in the Capitol Hill insurrection on January 6, 2021, waved the Pine Tree banner, but far more rioters carried the U.S. flag. When asked why the former is banned at Nashua City Hall and the other is not, Donchess declined to answer.

Scaer called on the city to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, noting that some Nashua residents participated in that historic battle against the British in 1775. Councilwoman Gloria Timmons had a different suggestion for her constituent.

The Progress Pride Flag

“Monday, Juneteenth, is the 249th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, while Juneteenth is a national holiday, marking 246 years of African Americans being enslaved before emancipation and Jim Crow laws came into effect immediately after slavery was abolished. Are you celebrating Juneteenth, the national holiday, this Wednesday? Will you join us in righting all the wrongs Europeans have done to African Americans, including those who fought at Bunker Hill, not to mention Native Americans?” Timmons asked Scaer in an email.

A message attacking the Americans who fought at Bunker Hill during the Revolution was not what Scaer expected. Timmons also told her that if she wanted to commemorate that battle, she should go to Boston to do so.

Two Republicans running in the primary for the 2nd Congressional District have spoken out against Nashua's ban on flying the Pine Tree Flag during the raising of the Progress Pride banner.

“Once again we see liberals expressing, with their selective politics of 'good for me, not for you,' that for them your freedom depends on whether you are left or right,” said former state Rep. Casey Crane.

Businessman Vikram Mansharami said: “This drama over the flags in Nashua is more identity-based political nonsense.”

Anna Harden

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