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Minot City Council to form flag policy amid pride flag debate

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 10:06 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – The controversy earlier this month surrounding the raising of the pride flag in Minot spilled over into Monday night’s city council meeting once more.

The council voted to restrict flying new flags until they developed a new policy.

Debate throughout the Minot community began after the city flew the rainbow flag in front of city hall in honor of pride week.

The council heard from both sides of the issue Monday night.

“Not only as an openly gay woman, but as a born and raised citizen of Minot I was deeply disappointed by the homophobic display put on by citizens at last week’s meeting,” said Riley Held, a Minot transplant who drove from the Twin Cities to Minot to speak at the meeting.

“The American Flag represents each and every one of us, I’m glad to hear that there is a moratorium on flags going forward,” said Denita Magnuson, a Minot resident.

Some who spoke said that while they were not against the flag, they did not think the city should fly others flags.

“My husband is a Vietnam veteran who has a deep respect for our country, state, and city. Likewise so do I. We both feel it’s not appropriate to fly other flags in front of city hall or other government buildings,” said Liz Hoppman, Minot resident.

Leadership with Magic City Equality did not appear at the first meeting this month for safety reasons. They spoke on what the flying of the flag meant to them.

“We will be forever grateful for this historic moment here in Minot, North Dakota. As an openly gay male, and an indigenous person I can say we have all experienced in our own individual shared way what it means to be treated less than human,” said Jordan Laducer, Magic City Equality.

The Interim City Manager will start working on a policy for residents to request flags flying at city hall. Until then the city won’t fly other flags.

“Things would seem to have escalated around the community a bit,” said Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma.

The NRA flag, which was scheduled to fly on Sept. 25, will now wait for that policy. The Minot State University Campus Pride Club will raise the rainbow flag on campus tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.

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