The LGBTQ+ progress pride flag will fly over Oak Bluffs for two weeks in June to coincide with pride month, following a select board discussion Tuesday that saw dozens of community members advocate for the flag to be flown in town.

“Please don’t turn back the hands of time by disallowing such a flag from being raised in our community,” Martha’s Vineyard NAACP representative Jennelle Gadowski said.

The progress pride flag is an LGBTQ+ flag designed in 2018 that includes stripes to represent people of color and the transgender community, alongside the larger LGBTQ community.

The flag will be raised beneath the American flag on the Ocean Park flagpole on June 1 during a flag raising ceremony approved earlier this week by the parks commission. The flag will remain raised for two weeks, including through the Oak Bluffs pride parade on June 11, which will march down Circuit avenue and end in Ocean Park.

The select board approved raising the flag in a 4-1 vote. Board member Jason Balboni was the lone dissenter, arguing that a non-governmental flag should not be flown on the same pole as the American flag. Mr. Balboni said he would prefer to see a new flag pole erected specifically for the purpose of flying community flags. In this capacity he said he would like to see the progress pride flag flown through the whole month of June.

“So I’m not completely a bad guy,” he joked. “Just a lot.”

Board member Brian Packish said he personally agreed with Mr. Balboni but considering the long line of speakers advocating for the flag at the meeting, he said it was his job to represent the will of the community.

“I’m not here serving as an individual,” he said.

Throughout the meeting, speakers stood before the select board to offer their personal experiences and underscore the meaning of the flag for the LGBTQ+ community.

“Us taking that stand is so important at this time,” Larkin Stallings said, citing national discussion surrounding the handling of LGBTQ+ identity in schools.

“Last summer’s display of pride flags on our Island made a huge impression,” Alex Palmer said, adding that flying the progress pride flag is an opportunity for Oak Bluffs to display its values to the world.

Speakers also took aim at a proposed flag policy the town is considering, regarding community flags in general. Members of the board argued that a policy is needed due to potential legal vulnerabilities, such as accusations that the town may fly one community flag over another.

“We’re constantly working around challenges around how we handle the flag,” Mr. Packish said.

Arthury Hardy-Doubleday, attorney and president of the Martha’s Vineyard NAACP, argued that discretion over which flags to fly and when is a power the board should have, and approach with careful thought.

“I think adopting the policy as written, it ties your hands behind your back,” Mr. Hardy-Doubleday said.

The board decided to forgo a decision on a flag policy, and create a subcommittee comprising two select board members and a handful of members of the public to work toward a new draft for the policy.

“I think there’s a way that we can thread this needle,” Mr. Hardy-Doubleday said.