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City Officials Raise Progressive Pride Flag at City Hall

City Officials Raise Progressive Pride Flag at City Hall

In a monumental first, a rainbow colored flag billows in the wind above Elk Grove City Hall. Raised at a June 1 ceremony, the flag is a Pride Month symbol for the gay community and their allies.

Most importantly, city leaders feel that displaying the flag emphasizes that Elk Grove is a place of love and acceptance.

“Elk Grove is a city welcome to all; Elk Grove thrives on its diversity,”

-Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen

Furthermore, Singh-Allen called the day meaningful for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual community (LGBTQIA)

This is the first time the city has approved raising the banner. The “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Commission” worked for months to secure a unanimous council approval to fly the Progress Pride flag.

Redesigning of the Rainbow Flag

A 2018 redesign of the 1978 Rainbow flag by non-binary artist, Daniel Quasar, now includes black, brown, turquoise, pink and white stripes. Moreover, the added stripes represent marginalized communities of color. Those communities include transgender, non-binary, and those across the gender identity spectrum. To that end, Quasar felt that the additional colors represent the diversity within the LGBTQIA community.

Naysayers who took to social media to voice their opinion on a popular Elk Grove Facebook page say that only one flag should be raised – The American Flag and the California State flag.

But according to DE&I Commissioner, Jace Huggins, he says the raising of the flag is a pivotal moment for Elk Grove.

“These are little steps,” Huggins said. “They accumulate and start to snowball.”

“Maybe one day we’ll live in a world where to be open and authentic isn’t something to fear “

-Jace Huggins, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Commission

The Progressive Pride Flag will fly throughout the month of June in observance of “Pride Month.”

Pride Month also commemorates the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, which was considered the spark for the country’s gay liberation movement.   

Jace Huggins, SMUD Director Rosanna Herber. Mayor Singh-Allen, Vice Mayor Darren Suen
Photo by: Marissa Johnson

Speaking Out

Vice Mayor Darren Suen openly spoke about how he is the father of a transgender and gay child. He said parents of LGBTQIA kids can see the flag and know there is acceptance and support for their children.

SMUD Director Rosanna Herber was the first openly LGBTQIA person on the Board. In her speech she said that young people always look for reassuring safety symbols.

“I know what it’s like to be afraid of who you are. You might have people hate you or yell things at you. But the world has changed for the better in a lot of ways. I’m proud of Elk Grove. I love that the mayor and vice mayor are here saying – you belong.”

-Rosanna Herber, SMUD Director

Elk Grove Teens

Jet Do is an 18-year-old recent graduate from Laguna Creek High School. He felt “very alone” growing up. As a student, he wished he could have seen the flag more often in schools or neighborhoods.

“I would have felt better. I’d see that there are other people out there like me,” he said.

Sixteen-year-old Lili Victoria is a junior at Cosumnes Oaks High School. She grew up in a Christian household that considered being gay was a sin. She said It wasn’t easy trying to figure out her sexuality. Attending a historic Pride flag raising event made her feel more acceptance.

“The event was very touching. And it sent me the message that I am in a welcoming community,” she said. “People are becoming more accepting of it. It’s normal. And it happens. And that’s OK.”

About The Author

Tony Mercado

Tony is our News & Events Editor. Tony Mercado brings a decade of experience as a Bay Area newspaper reporter to the Tribune. He studied journalism and political science at San José State University and has written for such dailies as the Gilroy Dispatch, San José Mercury News and Contra Costa Times. By day, he’s a communications specialist for a San José water district and somehow finds time to dive into a Stephen King novel, get in the stands for San José Sharks and Las Vegas Raiders games and whoop it up with his family and rescue dogs.

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