Pride flags replaced in Louisville again after being stolen twice – The Denver Post
With dozens of Pride flags in their hands, a three-person task force of Mayor Ashley Stolzmann, Councilmember Kyle Brown, and Executive Director of Out Boulder County Mardi Moore marched to the medians at the intersection of South McCaslin Boulevard and West Cherry Street/Centennial Parkway.
Several drivers passing by showed their support through cheerful honks, smiles, and enthusiastic waves as the group planted each colorful flag firmly into the ground.
“This is fun,” Moore said while hammering a flag into the median.
This was not the first nor second time Pride flags were installed at the intersection’s medians this month, but the third, Stolzmann said.
During the past week, some of the flags were removed twice from the area. The city has replaced the flags after both incidents and will continue to do so if more are taken, Brown said.
“Louisville is a place where no matter who you love or what your gender identity is, you’re welcome,” Brown said. “That’s what this display is really about: inclusivity and love. Unfortunately, there have been some folks who have tried to disrupt that message.”
According to the Louisville Police Department, the first incident occurred about 2 p.m. Wednesday. A 74-year-old man was issued a municipal citation for theft after police said witnesses saw him remove the flags.
A Confederate flag was placed in the area where the Pride flags were taken, but it’s not confirmed whether the man was the one who placed it.
Stolzmann said the police department hasn’t heard anything specific about the second incident that took place over the weekend, but community members are encouraged to report any information they might have.
“The message of Pride to me is so fun,” Moore said. “It’s coming together, it’s a celebration. It’s literally putting a flag in the ground and saying, ‘We are here, we are queer, get used to it.’ It’s important that our flags hang proudly and fly proudly.”
“It never crossed my mind when we were giving out flags and banners that we would have to replace them.”
Moore wrote in an email that another incident had occurred over the weekend at the Twenty Ninth Street Mall in Boulder where a banner was cut in half and a flag was stolen.
Moore said Out Boulder County is working to send a new banner over to the mall.
“These incidents do not describe the greater community,” Moore said. “They’re isolated incidents that are meant to instill fear and Out Boulder County is here 24/7 to make sure that we speak more loudly than they do.”
“I would say publicly to the people who find it necessary to deface the Pride flag in any way that we have more flags than you have time. We will not be silenced, we will not go away, and we are part of this community.”
“I would say to the larger community, get a flag and let your neighbors know, your community know, that you’re allies to the LGBTQ community and you will not let hate stand in Boulder County.”
Brown said after hearing about these incidents, he was disappointed yet undeterred and hopes Louisville’s celebration of Pride will continue to grow each year.
“We’re going to continue to spread the message that Louisville is an inclusive place where everybody can come and be a part of our community,” Brown said. “Regardless of what happens, we’re going to continue to do that.”
For more information about celebrating Pride this year in Boulder County, visit outboulder.org/pride.
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