A farming couple, that live on the outskirts of a country town in Oregon USA have erected a large progress pride flag on their property in protest over a local school that has banned the display of pride flags, BLM symbols and other “political signs”.
The flag, measuring approximately 6 by 9 metres, was placed on a cleared hill on the property of Erin and Jabill McCarthy overlooking the town and able to be directly seen from the school’s football ground.
Volunteers from across the state joined the couple one weekend to plant the flag. The couple posted on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit that they planned to build a flag in protest.
The posts received hundreds of responses, with people donating money for materials. A few days later, a small group of strangers arrived to help the couple build and paint the flag.
“From all over,” Erin McCarthy described to local Portland TV station KGW8. “Someone from Forest Grove came, someone from Dundee came, people from Portland came…”
The Progress Pride flag, originally designed by Portland-based designer Daniel Quasar, represents the LGBTQ community, with colours that also represent people of colour.
“The six stripe LGBTQ flag should be separated from the newer stripes because of their difference in meaning, as well as to shift focus and emphasis to what is important in our current community climate,” Quasar explained at the time of producing is design.
“We wanted maximum visibility,” Erin McCarthy said about her huge sign. “The result is pretty amazing, we love it.”
The school board voted 4-3 to ban Black Lives Matter and Pride flags in schools, but neighbours argue those marginalized groups are not political.
“To get political symbols and divisive symbols out of our schools,” argued vice-chair Brian Shannon.
The McCarthys argue symbols supporting these marginalized communities are not political.
“It’s not expressing a Democratic idea or Republican idea or conservative or liberal,” Erin said. “It’s human beings.”
“It’s recognition that people exist,” Jaybill added.
During last week’s school board meeting, mother Tai Harden-Moore argued her Black son also does not feel safe in Newberg schools.
“Because my son was called a n****** in school,” she told the board.
Advocates for Pride and Black Lives Matter symbols in schools said the flags show another layer of support for marginalized groups.
Last Updated on Aug 25, 2021