A Canadian village in Queens County, New Brunswick legitimately pissed off its LGBTI community by flying a ‘straight pride’ flag.
Before this incident, Chipman flew a rainbow flag for one week during June in observance of LGBTI Pride month. It flew from a community flagpole by its main road. An important gesture of acceptance, right?
However, Chipman also thought it was cool to flag a ‘straight pride’ flag on that very same flagpole.
A ‘straight pride’ flag
In what came across as a bad move, the city council recently erected a black-and-white flag celebrating heterosexuals. The flag features six black and white stripes with interlocking male and female symbols at its centers.
Mayor Carson Atkinson explained the council ‘recognizes, accepts and respects the rights of individuals under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.’
Sure, it might have been an attempt at fairness, but the LGBTIs didn’t like it. And righteously so.
Pride is a protest of marginalized groups in the community, after all. When being straight is still being perceived as the norm, it is hard to imagine heterosexuals being oppressed and therefore wanting to wave a flag in protest.
The council’s statement
The council came to its senses and decided to take the flag down.
Chipman’s straight pride flag was supposed to be flown for a week. Nonetheless, after several people started complaining on the village’s Facebook page, the council released a statement.
‘The straight flag is being seen as a flag of privilege and anti-minorities which our community and our council does not support,’ they wrote.
The council also explained the decision to allow a straight pride flag was based ‘on our desire to support all groups in our municipality and to respect everyone’s freedom of speech’.
They removed the flag based on the feedback from the citizens, but never clearly apologized.
Glenn Bishop, the man who created the ‘straight pride’ flag, said he and his supporters are considering legal action or a political challenge of the municipal officials who took it down.
‘There’s a lot of people angry over the flag being taken down. The same as if the gay pride people would be angry if their flag was taken down,’ Bishop said in an interview with www.nationalpost.com.
‘We’re not done. We’re going to regroup and see what’s next.’
He also insisted he is not homophobic, but only wanted to represent the ‘95% of the population’ and signal the whole village is not LGBTI.
‘The straight people built this nation… Now we’re being told we can’t say we’re straight,’ he added.