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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

LA County Board Orders Progress Pride Flag to Fly at County Buildings


The Progress Pride Flag will fly over Los Angeles County offices during June’s Pride Month under a motion unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The motion by Supervisors Janice Hahn and Lindsey Horvath directed the county’s Internal Services Department to raise “the Progress Pride Flag at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration and Los Angeles County facilities where the American and California flags are displayed during the month of June, while we celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month this year and every year moving forward.”

Such a move is in stark contrast to the action taken last month by the Huntington Beach City Council, which voted to no longer fly the Pride flag on city-owned property. The vote came just two years after the council voted unanimously to fly it.

“We are seeing anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-trans bills being passed at an alarming rate across the country,” Hahn said in a statement after the vote. “Here in Los Angeles County we’re making our position clear: in the largest county in the nation, LGBTQ+ residents have the unwavering support of their government.”

The flag of Gay Pride first flew 45 years ago on Freedom Day in San Francisco. It was created by Gilbert Baker with the input of gay activist and Supervisor Harvey Milk. With its eight brilliantly colored stripes — representing sex, life, healing, sunlight, nature, magic and art, serenity and spirit — the banner flaunted the values and dignity of the gay community. And in its varied versions, it has done so ever since.

Recently, according to Hahn and Horvath’s motion, artist Daniel Quasar created the Progress Pride Flag as a reimagination of the original 1970s symbol. It includes black and brown stripes representing marginalized and diverse communities of color, community members lost to HIV/AIDS as well as those living with that disease. The new colors’ chevron shapes evoke “a need for forward movement,” according to the motion.

“While much progress and inclusion has occurred over the decades, some governing bodies have voted to ban displays of the Pride flag,” according to the motion. “Despite a unanimous vote two years ago to allow the Pride flag to be flown at City Hall, the city of Huntington Beach recently overturned the vote and will now only allow city, state and national flags to regularly be flown at City Hall.

“Flying the Progress Pride Flag at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration will show LA County’s support for LGBTQ+ communities. In addition to the several ways our communities celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month.”

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