A proposal to erect a second flagpole at River Forest Village Hall did not get very far with the village board at the July 10 meeting.
In a memo to Village President Cathy Adduci, Administrator Matt Walsh referred to discussion during the May 22 village board meeting regarding possible installation of a second flagpole, intended to provide additional space for awareness, advocacy and ceremonial flags, he added.
However, officials tabled the matter until Walsh provides specifics regarding cost of the project and details on height and location. When questions were raised regarding a policy, Trustee Respicio Vazquez reminded his fellow trustees that such a policy was approved in May 2021.
However, that policy might need to be amended to reflect a second flagpole since it applies only to the existing single flagpole.
According to the policy, commemorative flags shall be displayed only if authorized by a resolution adopted by the village board and only if the request is made by a member of the River Forest Village Board at least 60 days in advance.
Officials were told in 2021 that a village flagpole flying only the United States flag is considered a nonpublic forum as opposed to a traditional public forum or limited or designated public forum.
The policy is modeled after one from a municipality in California that Trustee Erika Bachner said she found while doing research on the matter.
“In adopting this policy, the village board declares that the village of River Forest’s flagpole is not intended to serve as a forum for free expression of the public, but rather for the display of federal, state and village flags and any commemorative flag as may be authorized by the village board, as an expression of the village’s board’s official sentiments,” the policy reads.
Since adoption of the policy, flags flown on the single village hall flagpole have included the Ukrainian national flag and a flag commemorating Pride Month.