A flagpole and an American flag have been purchased by the Drake Community Library and installed by Grinnell’s Department of Public Services at the Park Street entrance to the Library’s parking lot on July 17.
In late 2019, library board members and Library Director Marilyn Kennett engaged in discussion with regional libraries and research into flag code in the United States to determine whether the purchase and installation of a flag pole and U.S. flag was warranted. Kennett reported to the library board of trustees that U.S. flag code states that “the flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution.” Accordingly, the board voted to approve the purchase of a flagpole and flag.
For a century, Grinnell’s public library has been located adjacent to a government building and therefore sufficiently near a prominently displayed American flag to comply with U.S. flag code. The former Stewart Library, located at 926 Broad Street, stands next to Grinnell’s Post Office. When the Drake Community Library opened its doors at 930 Park Street in 2009, the city offices, located just across Park street, flew an American flag. When the city offices relocated to the Spaulding Transportation Center in 2017, the flag relocated with them.
President of the library board Theresa Pagliai emphasized the significance of having the flag flying near Drake Community Library again. “To an institution of knowledge such as a public library, the American flag represents so much more than just stars and stripes,” says Pagliai. “It represents those rights we hold dear—freedom of speech, freedom to information, and the accessibility and right to pursue those freedoms.”
Those interested in supporting the maintenance of the flagpole and replacement of flags may make a designated donation to Drake Community Library at 930 Park Street, Grinnell.