Barre City legislators deny voters’ will on City Hall Park flag charter change

Charter change passed almost 2-1 last year in anti-BLM flag backlash

By Guy Page

Barre City’s own legislators have rewritten a proposed city charter change overwhelmingly approved by Barre voters last year. 

The last minute change to H444, authored on May 18 by Democratic Reps. Peter Anthony and Tommy Walz, strikes a clause in the charter change allowing only the U.S., Vermont, and POW/MIA flags to fly in City Hall Park. 

Minus the flag clause approved by voters, the bill passed the House and now is in Senate Government Operations. Frustrated supporters of the original charter change have started a petition drive asking the Vermont Senate to honor the voters’ wishes.

The petition is the latest move in a back-and-forth battle between City council Progressives who want to fly the Black Lives Matter flag, and opponents who say flying the U.S., Vermont and POW/MIA flags are enough. 

At  the City Meeting on March 2, Barre City voters approved 927-529 a charter change allowing (among other, less-controversial charter changes) just three flags to fly on the City Hall Park flagpole: the American, Vermont, and POW/MIA flags.

The voters’ approval March 2 was a ‘win’ for opponents of the Black Lives Matters flag. In the aftermath of the June, 2020 killing of George Floyd, the city’s Progressive City Council wanted to fly the Marxist organization’s flag alongside the U.S. flag, but pushback from several councilors and many residents resulted in a compromise plan to fly a “flag of the month” including the BLM flag but also the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army etc. flags. Progressive City Council members expressed anger that their plans to fly the BLM flag were frustrated.

After the successful March 2 voter, it appeared that the flag change was well on its way. However, all charter changes require legislative approval. H444, was sent to the House Government Operations Committee for review. The committee – which includes Rep. Anthony – removed the following phrase: “The City of Barre shall fly only the City, State, United States, and POW/MIA flags.” 

Shortly before third and final reading of H444 by the full House, Anthony and Walz sponsored an amendment addressing other concerns but completely removing any reference to flags. That version passed, and is now in the Senate. 

There is a petition calling upon Washington County Senators Ann Cummings, Anthony Pollina, and Andrew Perchlik to take action to restore to H.444 the flag restriction language approved by Barre City voters. It also calls upon the members of the Barre City Council to pledge to honor the vote of Barre City and refrain from the flying of any flags on city owned flag poles other than the American, Vermont, City of Barre, and POW/MIA flags.

To read or sign the petition, go to https://www.change.org/BarreCityCharterChange.

Categories: Legislation

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16 replies »

  1. First of all believe that the statue in City Hall Park is a statue (Youth Triumphant) dedicated to WWI Veterans. Shouldn’t the flags on the poles directly behind this statue reflect that as well ? How would those veterans feel about flying all these other flags on poles there ? Secondly, This ordinance should in my opinion include all flag poles on city property, including the tall one on Seminary Hill across from the Auditorium that can be seen from so far away. Municipalities should stay the hell out of, and above political frays, it’s better for everyone that way.

  2. Another example of “rule by the elites”. Clearly the citizen voters have spoken only to be ignored by those who hold themselves above the will of the electorate! Sounds like elitetism to me!

  3. An awesome example of hubris in action for Barre voters. In complete ignorance of their constituents vote, these two alleged representatives decided differently. I’d be very interested in following the money trail for these two during the 2022 campaign.
    Ala bernie sanders, pelosi and biden’s example- disregard the legal vote or law and continue on with your agenda.
    Anthony and Walz were required to affirm or swear an oath of office when they became legislators,
    requiring each of them to: “You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that as a member of this Assembly, you will not propose, or assent to, any bill, vote or resolution, which shall appear to you injurious to the people, nor do nor consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared by the Constitution of this State; but will, in all things, conduct yourself as a faithful, honest Representative and guardian of the people, according to the best of your judgment and ability. (In case of an oath) So help you God. (Or in case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.”
    I’d say Barre voters need to pay better attention to whom they elect.
    If this bill for the charter change passes as amended by Barre’s un-representatives, I’d suggest the First Naval Jack and Washington’s Cruisers flags be flown as well….

  4. Oh, the irony of Democrat Reps. Peter Anthony and Tommy Walz willfully thwarting the will of the Barre voters.

    While President Biden and the rest of the Democrats and Progressive are irrationally running around with their hair on fire screaming that Republicans are trying to destroy our Democracy, Anthony and Walz are busy actually destroying the democracy by changing the wanted and voted for city charter language changes on flag flying.

    Are Anthony and Walz at all aware of the distastefulness and hypocrisy of their behavior? Do they care about the will and votes of the good people of Barre? Are they aware that actions such as theirs will result in the predicted Democrat loss of control of the US Congress?……..It seems they don’t.

    Time for the voters of Barre to make changes in their legislative representation.

    • You’ve stated the primary strategy employed by the left, which is to accuse their political opponents of the exact offenses they themselves are committing. Whenever I hear the nonsense that Trump/Republicans are trying to destroy our democracy (actually we have a republic) I ask myself “what are they talking about?” Then a millisecond later I remind myself it’s just projection.

      Think about the response were this situation reversed and Republican reps were denying their citizens the clear result of an election. Let’s hope Barre can find and elect some candidates who do not think their own agenda supersedes the will of the people.

      The situation in Barre and in Vermont reminds me of Plato’s quote, “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.”

  5. Two more dem/prog thugs as well as the city council members violating their oaths of office. Why am I surprised. These two should face censure for their violations and the voters of Barre should throw them out. Their words and oaths are not worth the paper they’re written on.

  6. panthony@leg.state.vt.us,
    Tommy Walz ,

    date: Jan 11, 2022, 10:46 AM
    subject: Brian Judd Ward 2 Barre
    mailed-by: gmail.com

    Please read this and sign this to support the 927 Barre City Voters who approved this. Thank you for your time and consideration.


    Brian Judd
    Ward 2
    8 North St # 1
    Barre, VT 05641

    Barre City voters approved several Charter Changes on Town Meeting Day 2021, including a Charter Change to allow the City of Barre to fly only the American, Vermont, City of Barre, and the POW/MIA flags on city-owned flagpoles on a 927-549 vote.

    Charter changes require legislative approval, so the changes approved by Barre City voters were introduced as House Bill H.444. The House Government Operations Committee, with the support of Barre City Rep. Peter Anthony, rejected the flag restriction and struck it from H.444 before it was presented to the full House of Representatives for a vote.

    The Vermont House of Representatives passed H.444 without including the flag restriction approved by Barre City voters. H.444 has been sent to the Vermont Senate for consideration.

    There is a petition calling upon Washington County Senators Ann Cummings, Anthony Pollina, and Andrew Perchlik to take action to restore to H.444 the flag restriction language approved by Barre City voters. It also calls upon the members of the Barre City Council to pledge to honor the vote of Barre City and refrain from the flying of any flags on city owned flag poles other than the American, Vermont, City of Barre, and POW/MIA flags.

    If you would like to sign it, go to https://www.change.org/BarreCityCharterChange
    Sign the Petition

    Sign the Petition
    Respect the Will of the Voters of Barre City VT

  7. This is what has been fostered for years by an apathetic public & is now being fully embraced by the dictators who are lawfully meant to SERVE & represent the will of their constituents as public servants……how is everyone liking their totalitarian government so far. It shall become MUCH worse very soon….VOTE THE BASTARDS OUT!








  9. They are communists and the other three in the Senate are communists too. They should be arrested, prosecuted, and sent to a military brig for treason.

  10. Guy Page’s report has at least one major inaccuracy: I had no role in removing the flag provision in the proposed charter change. That was done by a vote of the Government Operations Committee and I am not a member of that committee. I was actually okay with retaining the flag provision because it was the will of local voters. Rep. Tommy Walz

    • Tommy, thank you for the correction. Recreating what happened, I do recognize that Rep. Anthony is a member of the Gov Ops Committee and you are not; that he reported the amended bill out to the floor, while you listened. I will gladly make that correction and would ask you to respond to this question: how did you vote on the amendment? I know there was no roll call, but can you tell me how you voted on the floor? And why?

      • Guy…….Rep. Walz owes you an answer on the question you posed more than four hours ago on how he voted on the amendment……..Both Walz and Anthony owe explanations to the voters of Barre, especially to the 927 who voted for the flag flying charter change……..Let your readers know if and how they respond.

        The people now don’t know how they voted on the amendment and the primary charter change, which was against the wishes of a vast majority of the Barre voters……In the present climate of growing mistrust of elected officials it’s time for both Walz and Anthony to speck up.

        Also, Rep. Art Peterson is to be especially commended for his alertness and courage in raising his question on the mysterious removal of flag flying from the city charter change during the Government Ops meeting…….He acted in defense of Democracy.

  11. yes and even a non Barre-ite…wants to know the answer to Guy’s question; because its not just Barre with these unscrupulous issues going on in our Legislature, towns, and so on up the ladder

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