June 8, 2011

Rainbow Flag Controversy for Pride 2011

Every June you can always count on some controversy surrounding LGBT Pride. Usually it is some slight, failure to issue a proclamation or other symbolic rejection. This year's Pride is proving no different. In the last week our Rainbow colored flag has become the center of two heated debates: one for flying the flag and the other for refusing to fly the flag.

In Virginia the LGBT flag flying over a Federal Reserve Bank is causing a storm of protest. To listen to some commentators you would think all the money inside would turn pink and the onslaught of the next Depression is just the corner because of it. In Seattle, the Space Needle has decided not to fly the flag. Concerned that the decision might be misconstrued as anti-gay, they offered to do events and fundraisers. Nevertheless, many in the community were outraged that Seattle phallic symbol refused to raise our colors!

Quite honestly, my approach to both of these incidents is somewhat the same. While it is always a welcome sight to see the Rainbow fly and I detest when someone burns it, the issue itself is not a compelling one to me. All this energy around two flags seems misplaced. Yes, I understand the importance of symbolism and visibility. Although with ballot measures, pending marriage legislation and our epic struggle for freedom, maybe we should spend just a wee bit less energy on the issue. As for Virginia, not sure the Federal Reserve Bank should fly any flag above it except the American flag. Don't want to look up someday and see a Christian flag flying above it.

If symbolism and visibility are important and worth this energy, time and comment, here is a suggestion! Instead of fighting over one flag why we don't start a campaign where on one day a year every LGBT household flies the Rainbow flag from their homes. Talk about getting people's attention. Can you imagine the sea of Rainbow flags in Seattle or imagine the shock of conservative Virginians driving down a street and seeing it lined with Rainbow flags? Just like on the Fourth of July when Americans drag out their American flags, we should do the same every June.

One single flag over a building does not proclaim we are everywhere. Yet thousands and thousands of them in neighborhood after neighborhood do send that powerful message. And if you are afraid to fly the Rainbow flag over your own homes don't expect someone to do it for you.

This article is from

Over and "Out" with my rainbow garden flag fluttering in the breeze, from Portsmouth, VA, USA


Trickle Down BS said...

The reason that the flag is so important is that unlike the discrimination that the blacks suffered...they didn't have to pull out a piece of cloth...they wore it on their skins...and it was not necessary to have any kind of symbol. Gays on the other hand, come in all sizes, gender and colors so that the flag itself is the unifying icon.
In Zoo Story Edward Albee proclaimed: "let the flag of homosexuality fly free, flapping in the wind and proclaiming one's right to be different" (I am paraphrasing)

great post

T said...

Good post.

Silly Dreamer said...

Finding and waving my flag in Colorado!!

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