Flag Will Go Up In The Winter
An Atheist flag is scheduled to fly above the Ten Commandments monument in Somersworth, New Hampshire this Monday, December 4, at 4 p.m. The flag, blue in color with a scarlet red “A”, will be hoisted on one of Citizens’ Place’s flagpoles. It is going up for the celebrations of the coming winter solstice, a pagan holiday. The flag is being raised at the request of Richard Gagnon in support of Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF).
It is one among other flags that have been or will be raised this year such as the Police Memorial Flag, Pride Flag, EMS Flag, the flag of Indonesia among others. Mayor Dana Hilliard made this possible after offering a plan to create a park for citizens and add two flag poles that would be utilized by civic groups to observe special events.
Richard Gagnon said that the flag is a representation of atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, and skeptics. He added that raising the flag is intended to portray a positive image of freethinkers who want constructive dialogue.
Gagnon went on to say that raising this flag was significant in that the celebration is primarily a secular observance. This, therefore, would be the first time a pagan holiday would be observed, he said.
Mayor Dana Hilliard said Citizens’ Place was created to honor and celebrate all members of society who embraced their democratic values. Citizens’ Place is a small traffic island next to Somersworth City Hall that was created and is owned by the New Hampshire city.
Hilliard added that he looks forward to continuing the practice and also modeling the reasons why Somersworth is the most open community in the state. He stated although he does not concur with the idea that the human existence is void of spiritual influence, he does honor the First Amendment and the right of atheists to freely and openly express themselves.