East Hampton Town Board members and residents, in an unusual start to a Tuesday work session, gathered around a newly installed flagpole outside Town Hall this week to commemorate the new addition.
Although the town’s campus on Pantigo Road already has two flagpoles, in front of Town Justice Court and in front of the police substation, Town Board members believed it was necessary to add a third.
According to Councilman and Navy veteran Fred Overton, the pole is the same pole that had been removed before construction began on the new Town Hall campus in 2008. It was pulled out of the Parks and Recreation Department storage just last week.
“I’m a little patriotic, being a veteran and the commander of the American Legion [Post 419]—the post means a lot to me, and it’s appropriate to have a flag flying in front of Town Hall,” Mr. Overton said last week.
Mr. Overton said when he worked as the town clerk, he had asked the Wilkinson administration to reinstall the flagpole that had been taken down, but it was the Town Board’s opinion at the time that the two other poles were sufficient. “I mean no disrespect to the previous administration,” he added. “I respected that opinion, and life went on, as they say.”
He and fellow Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc, once the Town Board agreed to allow the reinstallation, talked to the Parks and Recreation Department and asked that the pole be put back and painted.
According to Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, there are plans to add lighting so the flag can stay up at all hours. For now, the flag is raised and lowered every day.
“I’m proud the American flag is flying right in front of Town Hall,” he said.