How the Vermont Legislature killed the Barre flag ordinance

BLM opponents ask why House Committee cut voter-approved ordinance out of bill

By Guy Page

Many opponents of the Black Lives Matters flag and Barre City residents are wondering just how the Vermont Legislature managed to quietly drop a proposed Barre City ordinance approved by voters March 2, limiting flags in City Hall Park to the American, Vermont and POW/MIA flags.

Voters passed the proposed ordinance change 927-529, after a lengthy and acrimonious debate in which Progressive City Council members insisted on flying the Black Lives Matter flag. The outcome was a new flag policy allowing the BLM and many other flags to be flown on a rotating basis, and the proposed charter change that – its supporters hoped – would set in statutory granite that the BLM flag and other ‘political’ flags were not welcome on the city flagpole in City Hall Park. 

Several other, less controversial proposed Barre ordinances were approved by the House Government Operations Committee, which is tasked by the Legislature to review all municipal charter changes for approval by the full House. But the flag ordinance was mysteriously absent from H444, the bill they sent out to the floor. 

During his report on the bill, Gov Ops member Rep. Peter Anthony (D-Barre) didn’t even mention the dropped flag ordinance until pressed by a freshman lawmaker from Clarendon.

Rep. Art Peterson – West Point graduate, U.S. Army officer for five years, and Republican lawmaker for Clarendon – wanted to know the story behind the missing flag charter change. So during the May 18 meeting of the full House, he asked Anthony, the member of Gov Ops reporting H444 to the full body, to explain. See YouTube video, at 9 minute, 16 second mark. Here’s the slightly-edited transcript:

Rep. Art Peterson (R-Clarendon):

“I think you mentioned there were four items that were passed by the voters. And you reviewed three. Was there another one that didn’t pass muster somehow?

Rep. Peter Anthony (D-Barre): “There was bonding, constable, speed limit….I think you’re referring to one which the committee wanted to take more time and testimony on. It essentially involved limiting the nature of flags that could be flown on city property. I’m not sure that I’m the right person to ask as to why, since it was a committee decision to postpone that particular article. But yes it did pass along with the others – the bonding, constable, finance director etc.. Again there was a separate vote on that and like several of the charters that we have reviewed, some of the pieces that were passed in March are not part of the presentation and that’s true of Barre and was and is through a couple other instances that the that the wider body has already reviewed and and will review in the near future.

House Speaker Jill Krowinski then asked for a vote. A chorus of Ayes are heard. Then a handful of “No’s” were heard. 

Rep. Tommy Walz (D), Barre City’s other lawmaker, did not participate in the discussion and was not among the 20 or so lawmakers visible during the Zoom discussion of H444. It’s impossible to tell from the Zoom footage or House Journal if he voted, much less how he voted. He is recorded in the 5/18 House Journal as voting in a separate roll call later on that afternoon. 

In an online comment, Walz correctly noted that yesterday’s Vermont Daily Chronicle 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.”

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17 replies »

  1. WHY? Because the VT legislature has been infiltrated and overtaken by out-of-state, Communist-loving, traitors to the USA. THAT is why.

    • It’s time for people to stop wringing their hands and saying “oh, woe is me” and step up run for office and replace a few of these marxist legislators. A whole lot of them!

      • Communist terrorist that loot and kill for nothing. Hang the flag in front of their house.

      • People have stepped up to run against the two featured in this article – and the voters always send these two back – so it looks like they got what they deserved.

  2. Again, great work by Rep. Art Peterson…….Thank goodness we have some one watching, paying attention and willing to speak up when some of the ongoings of the legislative Committees in Montpelier appear to be amiss…….Keep up the good work for all the people of Vermont.

  3. If the Legislators are allowed to cheat,and over rule the will of the people,then the we have no law.Legislators are to have ethnics and uphold the constitution and the will of the people.If they can’t handle the truth,they need to be removed!!

  4. Why would legislators whom don’t live in the City of Barre want to hold a portion of a bill in committee when the votors of that city voted in favor of the change?? What interest doe these legislators have in reguards which flags fly in Barre?? What was discussed in the commintee meeting??

    • They need to constantly push the BLM and the Marxist allegiance….they believe the USA as a Constitutional Republic needs to be destroyed and the “New World Order” installed. Little do they comprehend that this was all essentially foretold in the book of Revelations and: Spoiler Alert…..in the end, God wins!!!! Sorry, DemocRATS!!!

    • The majority in the Vermont Legislature would best be described as the Paternal Order of Adult Children. Operating almost entirely on their feelings, they cannot distinguish between strong emotion and rational thought. Consequently, things like our Constitution, the Vermont Constitution, voting results, and the will of the people are of little importance to them. Their slogan should be “If we feel it, it’s right!” Everyone knows it is inappropriate to fly the flags of political movements on school and government property, or that painting them on our streets while denying others that right is unconstitutional. They don’t care. The ends justify their means, and the law cannot get in their way. This is why Republicans lose most elections in Vermont. They believe in common decency and civility, and the demprogs think they get to define those things, and the majority of voters are hypnotized into compliance.

  5. BLM inc. is a marxist, domestic terrorist group that doesn’t care about black lives or anyone else’s and wants to destroy America and wipe their butts with the constitution….plain and simple

  6. Rep. Peter Anthony Stated ” I’m not sure that I’m the right person to ask as to why, since it was a committee decision to postpone that particular article.” Typical evading of the question, someone must have made a motion to take more testomny or “postpone that picticular article” Its your bill, you sponsered it, and you don’t know why parts of it were removed???? Who would if not you?

  7. 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

  8. Folks of Barre City and Washington County this so-called liberal Dens Rep ! A total whack Job
    Period! Failed to honor the wish of the Barre City Voters period! Folks that is Failed leadership period!! Peter Anthony needs to be voted out on November 8th 2022 period!!

  9. Proof positive the State and the Legislature is the enemy of the People. They do not represent the People. They are an unethical, immoral, corrupt criminal syndicate. We are at war and our Government is the enemy.

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