‘You can’t appease all groups’: Residents protest Barrington Town Council’s flag approval process

East Bay

BARRINGTON, R.I. (WPRI) ─ More than a dozen Barrington residents expressed their frustrations with town leadership Monday regarding their flag raising policies.

Paul Dulchinos, president of the Barrington United Veterans Coalition, tells 12 News he first wrote to the Barrington Town Council last year after they allowed a Pride flag to be raised outside town hall.

“It’s a bad idea because you can’t appease all groups,” Dulchinos said. “Someone is going to be left out and you just can’t virtue signal to particular groups.”

Dulchinos said councilors also voted to allow a Black Lives Matter flag to fly underneath the American flag outside town hall for six months last year.

He claims when the coalition proposed other flags to the town council, they rejected all of them.

“A Tea Party flag, or an ‘All Lives Matter,’ or a ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag,” Dulchinos explained. “All of those didn’t get the light of day.”

Dulchinos and several other residents decided to gather outside town hall on Flag Day to rally against the town council’s flag approval policy.

“Flag Day seemed the most appropriate,” Dulchinos said.

Barrington Town Manager Jim Cunha tells 12 News while he respects the group’s right to protest, the town won’t fly politically motivated flags.

Cunha said he supports the town council’s flag approval process.

“Flags that we have flown on town hall have been respectful of different groups and people that need protection, just like the Pride flag and the Black Lives Matter flag,” Cunha said.

Dulchinos argues only four flags should be flown outside town hall. Those include the American flag, the state flag, the town flag and the POW/MIA flag.

“Our community is more divided than ever,” he said.

Barrington Town Council President Michael Carroll tells 12 News they have “chosen to fly flags which reflect the values of the town.”

He said they intend to hold a special meeting in July at which people can request the town fly particular flags, though he did not provide a specific date.

“At that meeting, residents will have an opportunity to state their views for or against the proposed flags,” he said.

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