In 2019, City Council adopted a commemorative flag policy to allow for the rotating display of commemorative flags underneath the City flag at City Hall, the Public Library, and the Police Station. Commemorative flags may only be displayed as authorized by resolution of the City Council. City Council’s annual consideration of flags for display is in January of each year, and the represented party is responsible for providing the selected flag. For more information, see the Commemorative Flag Policy (PDF).
2023 Commemorative Flags
The following flags were authorized by the City Council to be displayed in 2023 in accordance with the Commemorative Flag Policy.
Commemorating Black History Month
February 1 - March 1, 2023
Black History Month is celebrated annually every February and recognizes the history and achievements of African Americans. It also pays tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity throughout American history. Black History Month encourages us to continue to promote the study of Black history throughout the year.
In 1925, Carter G. Woodson’s organization, The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, conceived and announced Negro History Week. Over the years, Negro History Week became a central part of African American life, and across the country, more Americans came to appreciate the celebration. President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized African American History Month in 1976.
The theme for 2023 focuses on the importance of Black Resistance. African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression in all forms since their arrival upon the shores of America. These continued efforts have been to advocate for a dignified, self-determined life in a just democratic society within the United States and beyond.
Learn more from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History here.
Commemorating Women's History Month
March 1 - 31, 2023
Women's History Month is celebrated every March, recognizing the contributions women have made to American history in a variety of fields. The month was officially recognized by Congress in 1987, and since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”
We fly the Women's Suffrage Victory flag, with colors of purple, white and gold. This combination was used by the U.S. National Woman’s Party, a critical part of the fight for suffrage. The group described the meaning of its colors in a 1913 newsletter: “Purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause. White, the emblem of purity, symbolizes the quality of our purpose; and gold, the color of light and life, is as the torch that guides our purpose, pure and unswerving.” (Source)
The National Women’s History Alliance (NWHA) designates an annual theme for Women's History Month. The 2023 theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” Throughout 2023, the NWHA will encourage recognition of women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, and more. The timely theme honors women in every community who have devoted their lives and talents to producing art, pursuing truth, and reflecting the human condition decade after decade.
Learn more from the National Women’s History Alliance here.
Cambodian and Thai History
March 31 - May 1, 2023
Commemorating Cambodian New Year Celebrated from
April 14 - 16, 2023
The Cambodian New Year marks the end of the harvest season and unlike other Asian holidays, does not follow the Lunar calendar. It follows the Gregorian calendar, making it a unique celebration.
The New Year event lasts three days. Each day has its own ritual significance and things to expect. Cambodians follow these daily practices to ensure they bring good luck to their families in the new year. Here’s what each day represents:
Moha Songkran - This is a day for welcoming the New Angels of the year. Families clean their homes, offer food to monks, and mingle socially. In conservative Khmer communities, this is the only day when men and women are free to interact.
Vanabot - The second day is a time for remembering ancestors as well as living relatives. People give to the poor, visit temples, and perform an ancestor ceremony.
Thgnai Loeung Sak - The last day of this celebration marks the first day of the new year. Small altars to the dead are blessed, and monks are asked for forgiveness for any sins from the year before. Special cleansing ceremonies ensure everything is pure for the new year. This is also a day for exciting activities like horse races, boxing matches, and feasts.
Learn more about the Cambodian New Year here.
Commemorating Thai New Year Celebrated from
April 13 - 15, 2023
Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year festival. It is a celebration that embraces goodwill, love, compassion and thankfulness, using water as the means of expression. The word Songkran derives from Sanskrit meaning to move or step forward. The first day of Songkran takes place when the sun moves from Pisces into Aries, which marks the New Year's Day according to the Brahmin solar system.
The Three Days of Songkran
The first day of the Songkran festival sees people clean their homes and public places like temples and schools to get rid of any bad luck from the previous year and ready them for the new year. Another main activity is Song Nam Phra, a ritual that involves the pouring of scented water onto a temple’s sacred Buddha images.
The second day is known as Wan Nao and is when people prepare food and offerings to be given to monks and temples the following day. It is also a time to pay respect to elders.
The third day of Songkran is known as Wan Payawan and people typically start the day by visiting their local temple to present food and clothing to the monks, who then pray for them. They also partake in other rituals believed to bring good luck for the New Year.
Learn more about the Thai New Year here.
Commemorating National Day of Prayer
May 1 - May 12, 2023
The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.
The National Day of Prayer is a day set aside by all Americans of every religion to celebrate the importance of prayer. It is also a day that those who believe in prayer gather in front of courthouses, as well as in houses of worship, such as churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples. There are also luncheons, picnics, and music performances revolving around praying for the nation and world. Traditionally, the President of the United States issues an official National Day of Prayer proclamation each year.
Learn more about the National Day of Prayer here.
Commemorating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
May 12- May 22, 2023
May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).
AAPI Heritage Month became law in 1992 when, Congress passed a law which annually designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.
Learn more about Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month here.
Commemorating LGBTQ+ Pride Month and Harvey Milk Day
May 22 -June 30, 2023
The Pride Flag commemorates Harvey Milk Day, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) Pride month, and the contributions of the LGBTQ community.
Harvey Bernard Milk was the first openly gay elected official in the history of California, having served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors prior to being assassinated in 1978. Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contribution to the LBGTQ rights movement and the State of California officially recognizes Harvey Milk Day as a special day of observance annually on his birthday, May 22.
LGBTQ Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, New York City. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that LBGTQ individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
Learn more about Harvey Milk here.
Learn more about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Pride Month here.
Commemorating National Hispanic Heritage Month
September 15 - October 17, 2023
National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed annually from September 15 to October 15. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success. It is an honor to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
September 15 marks the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18 respectively.
Learn more about National Hispanic Heritage Month here.
Commemorating Native American Heritage Month
November 1 - November 30, 2023
We commemorate Native Americans annually each November and celebrate the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States. Every President since 1995 has issued annual proclamations designating the month of November as the time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories, and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Native American Heritage Month is also a time to educate the public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically, in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.
Native American Heritage Month has its roots as "American Indian Day" in the early 1900s, when the Boy Scouts of America began to set aside a day for the “First Americans”. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Kansas formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. President Coolidge subsequently issued a proclamation declaring the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day. This was the first formal appeal for recognition of Native Americans as citizens.
Learn more about Native American Heritage Month here.