By K. David Weidner, Ph.D., Executive Director
When you look up at the Pilgrim Monument this Friday, you will see the Jamaican flag flying over High Pole Hill for the first time.
You might wonder, “Why?”
- Part of our mission at PMPM is to share accurate histories and engaging stories about the many, many pilgrims who have come to Provincetown’s shores seeking acceptance, freedom and tolerance. The Mayflower Pilgrims were the first to arrive more than 400 years ago, but many more – including the Portuguese fishermen, the LGBQT communities and others – have come to make a home in Provincetown and forever change the fabric of this town we love. In recognition of these groups, we fly their flags for designated weeks.
- Jamaicans are one such group of pilgrims who came to Provincetown to support the boom of our summer season and, slowly over time, stayed here year-round, adding to our commerce and culture for multiple generations now and many journeying the road to U.S. Citizenship. They are part of our family and our community. These individuals ARE Provincetown. In recognition of them, we are flying the Jamaican flag on Jamaican Independence Day, the day in 1962, when the Colony of Jamaica gained its independence from the United Kingdom.
The Pilgrim Monument’s mission to foster and promote TRUTH: Tolerance-Respect-Unity-Trust-and History is important. Provincetown’s commitment to welcoming and embracing pilgrims of all kinds makes our history richer than most small towns and we love finding new ways to capture and share it. Black and Brown lives matter to us here on High Pole Hill. Our town, which is built upon tourism and the service industry (food and lodging), could not survive without our Jamaican brothers and sisters. We fly their national flag out of appreciation and respect for the ways they’ve enriched our community.