The Evil San Franciscans Who Want To Strip The Castro of Rainbow Flags

Some folks in San Francisco forgot their city is basically a homosexual playground (I mean, Robin Williams keeps a manse there), which is demarcated by rainbow flags flying from the lamp posts in the Castro. Except those lamp posts are historical city landmarks, as of 1991, and the flags were only supposed to be hung temporarily. Leaving them there is basically vandalism! What’s left of the banners, hung years ago, isn’t pretty: some are simply gone, others are in tatters. A few still fly brightly. And now some OBVIOUS HOMOPHOBES want to take the banners down.

The Mission Delores Neighborhood Association said the banners simply don’t belong on the posts permanently. “We completely support the diversity in the area,” the association said in a statement Friday to The Associated Press. “This is about preserving a city landmark from permanent signage.”

But others argue the banners in the Castro define the neighborhood and are slowly being lost as they become tattered and can’t be replaced. Only about a quarter of the 40 or so original banners on Market Street remain. Banner supporters want the law changed to allow new banners to go up. “This is where the rainbow flag started. This is a neighborhood that should be identified as one of the strongest and most vibrant gay and lesbian neighborhoods in the world,” said city Supervisor Bevan Dufty.

Dufty is calling for a compromise. Legislation he is promoting is designed to save the banners while keeping the lamp posts safe. The city’s Historic Preservation Commission backed the plan this past week.

That plan has the backing of the Board of Supervisors, which means the rainbow flags should find a more permanent welcome. I’m sure the Ruth Institute will be pleased.


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  • REBELComx

    And if the City doesn’t want to take responsibility for it, form a committee to ask all the businesses and residential buildings on each corner marking off the Castro if they would be willing to put up a banner hanging from their own building. Might want to do that anyway, than the homophobic neighborhood association has no right to complain about the city “supporting” a homosexual image or agenda.

  • ousslander

    a guess everyone who doesn’t or doesn’t want to fly the flag is a homophobe? ridiculous

  • TommyOC

    Queerty: You’re several days late and you’re trying to stir up drama over a whole lot of nothing.

    The concern comes from the simple fact that a 1991 law designed to protect the city’s historical landmarks obstensibly kept ANY permenant signage from being erected on them.

    It just so happens that the hundreds of lampposts on Market Street, which runs through the Castro, were designated historical landmarks long ago. Most of them are replicas, but quite a few of them in the Castro are 100+ year-old originals.

    And it just so happens that those Castro lampposts are the ONLY ones with banners on them that have any sort of permenance; they’ve been up for a decade, after all.

    So the objections on the rainbow banners isn’t the banners themselves — it’s the fact that the fasteners holding them up may be susceptible to rust, which would ruin the appearance (and possible integrity) of the landmark-designated lampposts!

    And that’s what the MDNA is trying to avoid!

    The compromise bill Queerty alluded to basically recommends that safer, rust-resistant fasteners be used and that more rigurous monitoring of said fasteners be undertaken by orgs putting banners on the posts.

    This bill has the support of all parties involved, at last word.

    Not everyone’s a homophobe, Queerty. This gay can understand that. Why can’t you?

    Find something more newsworthy to complain about.

  • jacknasty

    really, hundreds of lampposts were declared historical landmarks? That is probably the most ridiculous aspect of this story.

    Either take them down, or change the rules so they can be properly maintained. Simply leaving them is just uglying up the neighborhood.

  • HArold Osler


    The lampposts were declared landmarks so that they could try to stop people from posting fliers. There used to be this old guy that you’d see going from post to post tearing down all of them.

    Also, the thing to remember about “neighborhood associations” in San Francisco is that they tend to be made up of people with too much time on their hands; a nostalgic view of areas of the City; a secret fascistic desire to control things; a political agenda or some combination of the above.

  • alan brickman

    pretty typical of certain people…

  • Fitz

    Actually, I think that the flags loose their impact by always being up. And the brackets that they are attached with are harming the antique lamp posts.

  • jacknasty

    @HArold Osler:

    Well at least there was a good reason for doing it then. But in the spirit of that they really should decide to maintain or remove the flags.

  • B

    No. 5 · HArold Osler wrote, “Also, the thing to remember about ‘neighborhood associations’ in San Francisco is that they tend to be made up of people with too much time on their hands”

    Sometimes that backfires. Read the tale of the San Francisco Amory – basically complaining neighbors blocked anything from being done until (a BDSM video producer) bought it with an intention of using the building “as is”, avoiding the need to go through the planning process.

    One wise-ass neighbor wrote a letter to the local newspaper noting that with the pot stores, prostitutes, and other undesirable elements, they now have a neighborhood identity, and without a 10 year planning process.

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