by Guy Page
Residents of a Vermont city with strong ethnic Italian and patriotic American roots will hold a Columbus Day American flag sign wave 4-8 pm Monday, October 11 at City Hall Park in Barre.
All are welcome, said Barre native and resident Brian Judd, who is planning the event. The focus is not on politics but on honoring the nation, our history, and our flag, he said.
“We are having this American Flag Wave because of all the support we received from the community in wanting to fly the 20×30 foot American Flag to commemorate the 20th Anniversary on 9/11/21,” Judd said.
“A super majority, not just a majority, of Barre City citizens do not find our American flag intimidating,” Judd said in apparent reference to a Progressive City Councilor’s comment four days before the 9/11 wave that she found the flag ‘intimidating.”
Barre has a strong ethnic Italian history. Large numbers of skilled Italian immigrant stone cutters and artisans helped Barre become “The Granite Capital of the World” in the earlier 20th century. In 2019, the Vermont Legislature formally changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Although little-understood at the time, the decision was driven by historical revisionism based on Critical Race Theory.
Not all Italian-Americans were pleased with the Indigenous Peoples’ Day bill because it cast aspersions on Christopher Columbus, the Italian discoverer of the Western World by Europeans. After the bill passed, Rep. Peter Anthony (D-Barre) introduced H551, “to establish a State recognition day to honor the contributions of Italian Americans to the State of Vermont.” The bill was co-sponsored by the other Barre City lawmaker, Rep. Tommy Walz (D), and five other legislators, including four of Italian ancestry. It went nowhere and was not re-introduced this year.
Columbus made landfall in the western world on October 12, 1492. According to Wikipedia, “Christopher Columbus was a Genovese-born explorer who became a subject of the Hispanic Monarchy in order to lead a Spanish enterprise to cross the Atlantic Ocean in search of an alternative route to the Far East, only to land in the New World. Columbus’s first voyage to the New World on the Spanish ships Santa María, Niña, and La Pinta took approximately three months. Columbus and his crew’s arrival in the New World initiated the colonisation of the Americas by Spain, followed in the ensuing centuries by other European powers, as well as the transfer of plants, animals, culture, human populations, and technology between the New World and the Old World, an event referred to by some late 20th‐century historians as the Columbian Exchange.”
Categories: Society & Culture