The Town of Herbert is following through on its pledge to educate its council about queer issues in the southwest, following a short-lived removal of its pride flag last year. 

After flying for three years, the flag was taken down from the town’s Memorial Wall after the motion was brought forward and passed by council on June 12, 2023.  

Board member of Southwest Saskatchewan Pride, Shaun Hanna, expressed deep gratitude for Herbert’s CAO Michelle Mackow’s invitation to attend a council meeting this week.  

“It's really fantastic, because I know that in smaller rural towns there's often more stigma for queer individuals to be out and proud,” he said. “Last year there was a bit of unfortunate controversy with the flying of the of the pride flag in the Town of Herbert. They decided to reach out to Southwest Saskatchewan Pride to bring somebody in and just give a little talk on queer issues in rural Saskatchewan, and the importance of the pride flag and why it's a symbol.” 

The council’s second vote last summer, just nine days after the first, was 4-1-1 in favour of rescinding the previous motion, writing a public apology, and putting the flag back up.   

Hanna commended Mayor Ron Mathies and any civic leaders actively working to create a safe community where members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ feel welcome.  

He attended a meeting on Monday evening with co-board member Theo Houghtaling to answer any questions the current councilors had. 

“We had a really excellent conversation at their town council meeting,” he said. “They asked some really pointed and very frank and honest questions, and I think we were able to answer fairly well and frame the issues very well for them. It was a really positive discussion overall.” 

The Town of Herbert will once again be flying its pride flag this year during Pride Week from July 7 through 13.