Huntington Beach Votes to Limit Display of Pride Flags

March 8th, 2024 3:21 PM

Surprisingly, this is a positive story.

Residents in Huntington Beach, California just voted to ban Pride flags from being displayed on city property. Given the fact that California tends to be “all in” with anything progressive, this is huge. 

The measure that was passed with more than 58% of the vote Tuesday states that only the United States flag, the State of California flag, the County of Orange flag, the City of Huntington Beach flag, the POW-MIA flag, the six Armed Forces flags and the Olympic flag (during the Summer Olympic Games) will be allowed to be displayed on city property in Huntington Beach. The Pride flag, along with the breast cancer awareness flag and any religious flags will not be permitted, according to KTLA 5, a Huntington Beach news station. 

The “loophole” however states that “any other flag could be flown if authorized by a unanimous vote of the City Council,” KTLA 5 wrote. So, if an individual or a group wants to fly a flag on city property that is not listed on the list of approved flags, they’d have to get it pre-approved by the city council. 

Oddly enough, only 23% of the city’s registered voters showed up to vote on the amendment to the city’s charter. Though the amendment doesn’t explicitly say “you cannot hang Pride flags,” it’s specifications on which flags can be hung makes that clear.

Many people saw the move as a “repudiation of the City Council unanimous vote in 2021 to fly the Pride flag for the month of June every year,” LA Times reported before indicating that since then, four new conservative council members joined which likely facilitated the shift.

“They flat-out said this is not about banning the Pride flag,” councilmember Dan Kalmick said. “They’re full of s**t. Of course it’s about the Pride flag.”

Peg Corly, executive director of the LGBTQ Center Orange County said, “The LGBTQ community is not a political statement nor a special interest. We are people who wish to live our lives without suffering hate or discrimination for who we are,” before adding, “The most recent Orange County hate crimes report documents a 125% increase in hate crimes and hate incidents against LGBTQ people. Cities can help reverse this dangerous trend with a public show of support such as flying the Pride flag during Pride month. The recent ban by the Huntington Beach City Council speaks volumes.”

Maybe council members just wanted their city to speak to the patriotism of the state rather than speak on something so politically divisive.

I’m curious to see how this pans out when Pride month does roll around this June. Until then, get wrecked nerds.