On June 14th, 2023, Flag Day, the Town of Pepperell Select Board adopted the following Flag Policy found HERE.
Town of Pepperell Flag Policy
Purpose. This policy provides guidelines for the flying of the flags of the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and flags of local interest, as well as flags for parades, holidays, and celebrations, on Town of Pepperell-owned property.
The choice of which flag to raise on Town owned property is hereby declared to be governmental speech, communicating a message to the public, to which the strictures of the First Amendment do not apply. The Town does not, nor has it ever, intended to designate the flying of flags on Town-owned property as a public forum by permitting a non-governmental party to raise a particular flag. Accordingly, the Select Board's choice of whether to raise; or decline to raise, a flag on Town-owned property, the manner in which such a decision is made, and the adoption of this policy shall not be interpreted as designating any Town-owned property as a public forum for the flying of flags. This policy does not apply to the North Middlesex Regional School District.
Policy. It is the policy of the Town of Pepperell that flags exhibited from Town-owned property shall be displayed in conformance with applicable federal, state, and local policies, as stated in the Federal "Our Flag" publication of the Congress, House Document No. 96-144 and the Massachusetts statutes and regulations for flags, including without limitation G.L. c. 2, § 6A, G.L. c. 264, § 5, 950 CMR 34.00 et seq. and this policy. If the Governor of the Commonwealth or other authority of competent jurisdiction orders that the United States or Commonwealth flag be flown at half-staff, no other flag shall be flown higher. The Select Board or the Town Administrator as its designee shall ensure the proper execution of this policy, as it may be amended from time to time by the Select Board in its sole discretion.
Flags of Local Interest:
Requests to raise flags other than the flags of the United States or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must be sponsored by a member of the Select Board. The flag must be representative of an organization or message of interest to the community.
• Flags deemed to be inappropriate or offensive to our local community standards will not be approved for display. This includes restricting the display of language or images typically considered offensive, for example, so-called ‘bad words’ and images of an overt sexual nature.
• Flags containing commercial, partisan political, or religious positions are also not to be displayed on Town property.
• All flag raising events must be open to the public.
• Requestors must provide their own flag.
Such requests should be made at least thirty days in advance of the intended date of flying to allow the Select Board to consider granting its approval and should include the following information.
a. Sponsoring board member name
b. Name / contact information of the requesting organization;
c. Relationship of the requesting organization to the Town of Pepperell
d. Date or time period of event or occasion;
e. Explanation or purpose of the event or occasion
Adopted by the Town of Pepperell Select Board on June 14, 2023