Controversy surrounding pride flag that flew over state Capitol

HELENA – There is quite a controversy brewing at the state Capitol in Helena. It all surrounds the Governor’s decision to fly the pride flag this weekend.  


The reaction is mixed, some in strong support and some strongly against it. Right now, the Montana State and US flags are flying at the state Capitol, but that wasn’t the case just a few days back, which has sparked conversations over what is political speech and why this is deemed political at all. 


Over the weekend the state flag was replaced by the pride flag, a flag with several bright colors representing the LGBTQ community. The Big Sky Pride Parade was held in Helena this weekend. Kev Hamm is the President of Big Sky Pride and he says the flag represents equality.  


“The only reason its political is because they think that equality is something that must be earned. All humans are equal. The fact that we have to fight for it is because the other side has made it a political choice. They want it to not be political, it’s really easy stop arguing with our equality,” said Hamm.  


Top Republican leaders, Senate President Scott Sales and Speaker of the House Greg Hertz, wrote the Governor a letter on Monday saying flying the flag was a disgrace.  


It read in part, “This was an unmistakable act of disrespect to our state and the people and institutions we serve – and beneath the office of the Governor.” 


Republican Senator Mike Cuffe requested a bill to be drafted on Tuesday that addressed the protocol for flying the state flag over the Capitol Building.  


This isn’t the first time the flag has been swapped out. Back in March the Governor ordered the Irish flag to be flown in place of the state flag on St. Patrick’s Day. We are not aware of any oppositions to that decision.

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