Here’s something we didn’t know about the burned rainbow flag in front of the NYC’s LGBT Center—it was a whopping 4 x 5 inches. That’s right, the vandal didn’t burn the large rainbow banner flying proudly above the Center’s doorway, they burned some 50-cent “made in China” flag a sheepish mom might carry at a PFLAG event. According to a volunteer, the vandal bought the flag, took a Bic took it, then slapped it on one of the Center’s outdoor display cases. Nonetheless, the Center’s replaced its tiny burn victim by draping their building in a 20-foot rainbow curtain that’s so big visitors have to maneuver around it just to enter.
After covering their building in the joyous shroud, the Center issued a statement decrying the 4×5 vandalism and is holding a musical gathering in a show of community solidarity. David, a volunteer who works at the Center said that the outcry against such a tiny flag being burned might seem outsized, but “it’s an opportunity to bring homophobia into the general view using the [small flag] as a vehicle, which I think is a positive thing.” But he adds that the huge flag can’t stay because its blocking all the windows.
I asked if the new flag was flame retardant. He had no idea.