In response to a reported rainbow flag burning incident in West Ashley over the weekend, the Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA) is offering rainbow flags to community members who wish to display a flag in solidarity with the affected family and LGBTQ community.
In a post on Sunday morning in the West Ashley United Facebook group, the victim, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote:
“For a few months now we have had a rainbow peace flag outside of our home in Shadowmoss.... Because, well, our family believes in peace and the equality of all humans. Last night around 10:30, we saw someone run past our front window but didn’t think much of it. Woke up this morning to our flag burned in our side driveway outside our home. This makes me sad on many levels but concerned that someone because of their hateful beliefs would come on our property to burn a symbol of peace and love, especially when our three small children are in the home. Is this really where we are as humans? I would like to believe it is a small pocket but today I would like to encourage all to let your love be louder than hate.”
Following the post, there has been a wave of support for the family, and a call for people to display rainbow flags in support of the family and LGBTQ community.
In response, AFFA has announced that the organization will provide rainbow and transgender pride flags to anyone in the Tri-County area who will commit to displaying the flag on their residence or business.
If you can commit to displaying a rainbow flag and/or transgender pride flag on your residence or business, please reach out to AFFA at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive more information.
“Incidents like this flag burning can unfortunately contribute to a culture of fear within the LGBTQ community," AFFA Executive Director Chase Glenn said. "It reminds us of the possibility that we are living among people who harbor hate against us. As LGBTQ community members, we are grateful for our allies, including the family whose flag was burned, and we’re asking people to display rainbow flags in solidarity with this family and the LGBTQ community as a whole. We know that love is stronger than hate and flying the rainbow or transgender pride flag speaks to our community’s spirit of valuing diversity, equality, and full acceptance without exception.”
“While it is upsetting that this flag was destroyed, the reaction of neighbors across West Ashley is no surprise to me,"AFFA Board President Colleen Condon said. "I know Charleston is a city of love. We appreciate all those allies who will fly a rainbow or other diversity flag to affirm this value. AFFA is happy to support this effort and donate the flags.”