As of Tuesday, the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s black, white, green and red flag is now flying with the POW-MIA and American flag on the town common flagpole of North Andover, Massachusetts.
The decision was made despite a month of protests and resistance from residents.
The idea was initially brought to town officials by Selma Khayal, a college student, on Octover 16th, after the raised the Israeli Flag on the common flagpole. Her petition made it in the knick of time before the town officially updated their flag-flying policies. Previously, the town looked at the flagpole as a “public” forum therefore anyone could petition to have any flag raised after approval by the Select Board.
The updated policy removed the wording around the idea of the flagpole being a “public forum” and replace it wording that the flagpole could only be used for statements of governmental speech.
“I can’t believe that my town has approved the petition to fly the Palestinian flag over our beautiful common!” said Richard Misci. “Our town council should be ashamed of their decision! What is happening to our country?!”
During a public meeting at North Andover High School on Monday about the raising of the PLO flag, residents got heated and discussion devolved into yelling and screaming at each other. As would be expected, numerous Jewish residents and a Ranni showed up to make the case for the PLO’s flag to be a symbol for Hamas, terrorism and anti-Semitism.
Police have been called to the Town Common several times since the flag was raised forcing the Department of Public Works to move the knot at the cleat high enough above that it couldn’t be reached by anyone.
Town officials state that the flag will fly through December 6.