The American and Ukrainian flags are displayed behind the dais inside the Monterey County Board of Supervisors’ Chambers. (County of Monterey)

MONTEREY COUNTY — Monterey County is showing its support for the people of Ukraine, displaying the eastern European country’s flag inside the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers in Salinas after hosting a special ceremony earlier this month.

The county spent time during the supervisors’ meeting on March 15 to honor and stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, many of whom have been displaced since Russia’s invasion more than a month ago. 

“Over the last couple of weeks, I find myself reflecting more on the moments of joy at home, wondering what the pain of being forced to separate from family must feel like for so many,” said District 3 Supervisor Chris Lopez, who represents South Monterey County, on social media afterward. “The loss and devastation will echo for a generation, just as the calls for justice must. We stand with the people of Ukraine and we pray for their safety.”

All present stand for the playing of the United States and Ukrainian national anthems. (County of Monterey)

During Tuesday’s meeting, the county displayed the flag of Ukraine alongside the American flag behind the board’s dais and played the national anthems of both countries.

County employees Marina Pantchenko and Nana Knight, both of Ukrainian descent with family and friends in the region, also shared their concerns for loved ones who are fighting for their freedom in this now war-torn area.

“Thank you to our county employees who shared their stories and fears for loved ones in this war zone,” said Maia Carroll, the county’s communications coordinator. “Monterey County will continue to display the flag of Ukraine until the conflict ends.”

Monterey County staff and supervisors stand with employees Marina Pantchenko and Nana Knight (third and fourth from left, respectively), who have family and friends in Ukraine. (County of Monterey)

Both the Ukrainian and American flags will remain hanging inside the Board Chambers for the duration of the conflict. An additional two flags have also been stationed outside the door to the Chambers, located on the first floor of the Monterey County Government Center at 168 W. Alisal St.

On March 1, Monterey County supervisors unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The ceremony and flag display were both part of that resolution, which also expressed the county’s support for the people of Ukraine and urged the United States to continue providing support to the Ukrainian government.

“This resolution will be shared with Monterey County’s state and federal legislators and sent to the White House,” Carroll said.

Marina Pantchenko holds a copy of the county resolution condemning the Russian invasion in Ukraine while standing next to the Ukrainian flag, which is stationed outside the door to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors’ Chambers. (County of Monterey)
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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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