No Pride flag flying at Edmonds City Hall this year

(2021 photo courtesy City of Edmonds)

In a change from recent years, the City of Edmonds didn’t fly a Pride flag outside of Edmonds City Hall during LGBTQ Pride Month. Pride is celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The flag flew outside city hall for the first time in 2021, under Mayor Mike Nelson’s administration.

In a statement Monday, city spokesperson Kelsey Foster said that “the placement of different flags on City Hall can have multiple implications. It can visually demonstrate the city’s support for a segment of the community or an issue. It can also be exclusionary in that it can also make a statement by what flags we do not put up.

“We decided that our actions this year would be focused primarily on supporting local community groups in their efforts on education and inclusion. We hope that our support of events like Juneteenth at the Beach and the Pride event at Civic Park have made a difference, and hope to continue these, and other, partnerships in the future.”

The City of Edmonds partnered with a range of organizations to sponsor Pride events throughout the month, including a celebration at Civic Park June 22.

Edmonds Mayor Mike Rosen said in a followup email that he hopes to join with the Edmonds City Council in reviewing “existing policies, or creating policies where none might exist around topics such as this. And it isn’t just about flags, but also things like the issuing of proclamations, resolutions or letters of support. This is one part of the conversation we as a community will be having regarding what the role of government in Edmonds should look like in the future,” Rosen added.



  1. “It can also be exclusionary in that it can also make a statement by what flags we do not put up.”

    Exactly. And doing it for a few years and then not doing it sends what message?

    “We decided that our actions this year would be focused primarily on supporting local community groups in their efforts on education and inclusion.”

    So no education and inclusion of the local LGBT community group?

    So, at least, the change might be taken.

    1. Once again…Do Nothing Rosen. Do you see how doing nothing is harmful? No you don’t.
      Bring Back Mayor Nelson!!!!!!!!!

    2. Definitely a slap in the face to the many queer families in Edmonds. Don’t think we don’t notice which businesses and administrations are not celebratory – or at the very least, supportive. We do.

  2. My wife and I moved to Edmonds last summer knowing that this beautiful town had become a seemingly strong LGBTQ+ ally. What a slap in the face! After living through much of my life (76years) experiencing the fear of rejection and discrimination, the Pride flag is a beacon of acceptance, freedom, and hope for millions of people. I shall work very hard to defeat Mayor Rosen at the next election.

  3. We have huge city problems and years of mismanagement that must be overcome or have a bankrupt city and we are worried about whether the town put up some sort of flag or other. Personally, I don’t get it. If you really know you are a good and worthwhile person and not out to hurt anyone for any reason, you don’t need the approval of a bunch of other people to be truly happy and useful to your fellow man. I recently went to the Pride celebration in Lynnwood to help Teresa Wippel promote the three publicly owned newspapers including MEN at the event. It was a fun event with lots of people visiting, singing, discussing politics – you name it. Just normal folks having some fun. The biggest, maybe even the only real, problem in the world is people telling other people what to think and how to live their lives. Community with mutual love and respect are everything; all else is just noise and self serving chaos. We are all the same in that we live for awhile and then who knows for sure. Better make the best of it, I’d say.

    1. Thank you, Clinton well said, “Community with mutual love and respect are everything”.

  4. Pride flags are getting boring. Apple, Disney, Amazon, Starbucks, Ford, and GM have all jumped on the Pride bandwagon. Edmonds has flown a Pride flag for years.

    Pride flags are no longer edgy. They are now mainstream.

    Nowadays, the way to court conflict is to STOP flying the Pride flag. I’m sorry Edmonds decided to go for the distraction of courting conflict by removing the Pride flag. Given the Mayor’s endorsement of Pride in a Council meeting, this looks like it was a mistake.

    I hope the City doesn’t go for more hi-jinks like this in the future. Instead of going out of our way to antagonize people, let’s focus on dealing with our real problems. Be boring and do good work.

    1. It’s pretty easy for some people to get so bored when other people’s very real issues are brought to their attention and challenge them. Somewhere, even in Edmonds, an LGBT boy or girl is contemplating suicide because there seems to be no hope or pride in their future. I know – I was one. Pride flags demonstrate that towns care, that businesses realize they can help. They can save lives and they need to be mainstream for as long as some people find demonstrating acceptance, in your words, “antagonizing.”

      Bigotry is boring, and it’s not good work.

      1. Yes. You are correct.

        And I hope you don’t think that my comment is accepting the city stopping flying the Pride flag.

        Not flying a Pride flag in 1990 would not have made a big statement. Nowadays, a Pride flag is the default.

        Not flying a Pride flag in 2024 is putting the City out there as endorsing oppression of LGBTQIA+ people. Edmonds now appears to be less supportive of the LGBTQIA+ community than Ford and General Motors. That is not a helpful for the City getting its work done.

        It would have been better for the city to have done the non-controversial thing and flown the Pride flag. No one would have been surprised. Edmonds has been flying the Pride flag for years.

        And I’m pretty sure that it was a mistake: My guess is that the City and the Mayor did not mean to endorse oppression.

  5. Creating safe space for bigotry in policy making settings is to distract from real change by pushing pride is for parades not policy.

    Until policy is fair and equal, pride will exist. Pride is not meant to be edgy, it’s meant to save lives.

  6. Boo! Flying the flag to tell our local community they belong is such an easy uncomplicated thing to do.
    Not doing it speaks loudly and informative. Boo!

  7. When Mayor Rosen was campaigning at an anti-LGBTQ church, does this come as a surprise at all? Hardly.
    And the old guard breathes a heavy sigh of relief, we took one step forward and they forced two steps back.

  8. As queer a business owner in Edmonds, this is upsetting. My clients are LGBTQIA+ and bring business to the community. We will NOT be erased.

    1. I have questions. Where else besides a church without a name did Mayor Rosen Campaign? I have never met or spoke to on the phone or emailed our Mayor. I don’t think our Mayor is anti LGBTQIA+ at all. I don’t think the church that is presumably anti LGBTQIA+ is where he attends church. I don’t know if he even goes to church? I don’t. I don’t think anyone here has taken a step back in the minds of citizens. I think when people run for office who say they will not be partisan in their approach with governing means anyplace that will have you and is large enough to draw a crowd would be wise for any politician. Our Mayor is not a career politician. He is just someone who loves Edmonds and wanted to help in every way he can. That is not easy when we are all so divided. He did not start the division here. To Carol I don’t think anyone wants to erase you or your clients and friends or your business here in Edmonds. I think there must be a reason the flag was removed. I suspect it was that so many wanted to fly a flag that there were just too many flags and too many other groups that would have been disappointed so they allowed none?

  9. I don’t think removing the flag mentioned is a smear against our LGBTQ+ community. I don’t care one way or the other if it is flown but I think it really means most of Edmonds is so cool about all of this and so many other lifestyles etc. that we don’t need to fly flags of any kind in my opinion to show that we are happy to have all kinds of people in our small city. Right now, the country is in a turmoil because the SC wants to make it mandatory to post the bill of rights in court houses. DO we need that in court houses I don’t think so. Isn’t it kind of the same thing when people are always trying to say their message louder? Can’t we just love who we want and all be friends, so we really know how it is to be different than ourselves? I do know that a lot of other flags left out too are not the same as recognizing sexual preference. But do people want to be known for how they care help and think more than what trips their trigger sexually. I do. I really think it’s helpful to any threatened group to not always make it a headliner. it brings in the haters ya know. Welcome with LOVE to Edmonds.

  10. Deb. Please listen to the voices of queer community members posting on this thread. This matters. And who we are is not a “preference.” It is not a “lifestyle.” Trips their trigger” is offensive as well.
    I know you are coming from a good place. I can remember many times when you posted comments that supported queer folks in Edmonds. Please understand that while you can support us, and we welcome that, the City’s decision to go backwards is harmful. Nathaniel mentioned how important it is for young people in particular to know the City stands with us. Exactly.
    We’re here, we’re queer, get used to us. And we vote.

    1. Kim, First I apologize I would never want to offend anyone in our community. I know when I wrote it I didn’t know what words to use. I know I think that Sexual desires are what we are born with born to be. I guess I knew preference might not be the right word. Damn. And Lifestyle yeah thats wrong too. Its not a lifestyle I know. Give me some words to help me ok? And Trip their trigger haha. I meant me too. Ok I will try to do better but I need help ok. As far as Nathaniel about young people I thought they did know that people here are good with all of this but I guess if it is a flag that you think will help then maybe the Mayor should put the flag back. Years ago at a Gay Pride parade in Seattle I was there and watching I was on a corner and a young woman grabbed my arm and said hold this I did. It was a big street wide banner that said Were Here Were Queer and they did a little dance too. I had no idea what I was holding but when I found out I was very proud and pleased to help. HA And I am glad you are here and that you vote. XO

  11. I have been listening to music loud all day today I listen as I read and type and this and that. Today I have so many bees all around I must be quick on my feet to get in and out my door. I am right next to my gardens and the honeybees and bumble bees and a few wasps a dragon fly and of course the birds and the hummingbirds are all over. I stuck half an orange out today. Nothing yet but a friend told me they love that. Squish it up a bit first. ANYWAY. Before I posted above about the flag thing, I was listening I listened twice to one of my old favorite songs. Great guitar I am sure all guitarists here would agree. Ten Years After (I saw and I was front row right on the stage for their performance WOW. I still feel the swoon when I think of it. They did this song titled I’d Love to Change the World. I think you should all listen to it if you want. It’s from 1967. I know right. HA we were cool. Me my friends also had LGBT friends and are still friends forever. It was being interesting and kind and trustworthy we sought out and claimed as our friends. These friendships are solid. BTW $ didn’t matter.

  12. The MONEY. Well if you had a rich daddy you shared your clothing. You rented the houses with many bedrooms and there was always a place to crash ( sleep or hang out) for the ones who could not afford to offer such a thing. The ones with the MONEY bought the Blue Nun and Mateus wines for everyone. We talked for hours some slept some stayed up all night having stimulating conversations. ALWAYS music Always Art. Food for All. It worked for my friends and the occasional just coming thru town in the VW busses ha. Some of them stopped and hung for awhile before going on to say the West Coast. Haight Asbery was a destination for some. I just had a poster myself. But I would look at it and think I should go there haha. I didn’t then but later in life I did to check it out. We need more dormitory style housing here. Places with rules so they can stay viable. Places to love and talk and be safe. How do we do that? What do you all think? The DGAF attitude isn’t working. SO, suggestions?

  13. Personally, I would like to see every single area of Edmonds come together and do something. I understand it is impossible to stuff everyone for everything into the Bowl area of Edmonds. But I mean all of the time not just for special events. I think every single area in Edmonds should have a community center for starts. I think it doesn’t have to be a zillion dollar building it could be a big big house that we gut and remodel in every area. professionals to volunteer time and like Habitat does all the rest of us do the grunt work. It could be donations and companies bring your left-over wood and fundraisers those who have $$$ give it up and work and those who don’t have $$$ just do the work with us all. Professionals to volunteer time and like Habitat does all the rest of us do the grunt work. This way there could be a yard for a community garden for all. So many things we could do here and make Edmonds really the Gem it could be. Be known for I guess is what I mean. We keep fighting and we are no different than the rest of the country and ya know I think we are different here let’s not lose that. Lets expound on that ideal. Love to All.

  14. In the community centers I dream of I would want all people from all communities to frequent each areas Community centers too. I think that would be particularly important. One thing about Edmonds and its residents is that you all make me think all of the time. All day and when I got to bed at night often, I am thinking of all of you and wondering and trying to find ways to help. I have to sleep so I count sheep sometimes etc. to turn off the thoughts. It works. Maybe its ok to think all of the time. Maybe it keeps the mind working. I don’t seem to be having any cognitive issues yet. Ok Off to the yard. The Birds are singing and they want a fill in the birdbath. The Robins I love but they are definitely water splashers and they like to dominate the bathing area. Plants are saying hey Deb how about some water. You didn’t water us last night and we noticed. Yes, I talk to the flowers the birds and everything outside too. I love to talk and YES, I love to listen too.

  15. The latest anti-LGBT hate crime statistics roundups I can find are from 2022, when the FBI reported a 19% jump over the previous year. “More than 11,600 hate crime incidents were reported to the FBI in 2022” (The Hill).

    This year alone there have been uncountable thefts of pride flags, pride flag burnings, and even an email from the Colorado GOP with the subject line “God Hates Pride” and a video titled “God Hates Flags” that demonizes Pride Month and portrays the LGBTQ community with longstanding false tropes. The ACLU is tracking no less than 532 anti-LGBTQ bills in US state legislatures (Mapping Attacks on LGBTQ Rights in U.S. State Legislatures in 2024 | American Civil Liberties Union (

    Some may find pride flags boring or unnecessary. But statistics indicate a crying need to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBT community. It is a great pity that city government has conspicuously decided this year to abandon flying the pride flag.

    1. Hi Nathaniel. WOW I didn’t know about this info. Do you know what States and Cities where most of these incidents are occurring? Are any of these incidents happening in WA state or cities in WA? I am so sorry this is going on in parts of our nation that are some very different in their thinking. Do you think it’s been ongoing and it’s just social media that is telling so many what is happening where etc.? I don’t know. If you feel and it sure looks like many do that, we need that flag to ensure your safety maybe we should ask our mayor to reconsider. It is odd to me that no other groups who are having issues in our country are not talking here on this post today? Why do you think that is? I would love to hear your opinion, Nathaniel. I will check out some stats on your comment tomorrow. I thought CO was ok. I thought it was now a purple state? I think Denver ok. The Far right frankly in cases like this can be quite ignorant. Religious intolerance. Extremes at the ends of political spectrums often ignorant. The LGBTQIA+ is not a political spectrum. It is people in every walk of life just trying to live. I support you Nathaniel. You know that I think. XO

    2. Thank you, Nathaniel, for giving this wider context, and some statistics. Yes, I for one think the pride flag is a necessary expression of solidarity and a timely statement that defines what Edmonds stands for, here and now, in a nation where, sadly, hate still thrives in the legislation of certain states, the edicts of some religious groups, and the everyday behavior of some citizens. I’ve seen the hatred, and violence, toward the LGBTQ2 community in too many states to the East, impacting my friends and my students. And I remember what it was like for the Queer community long before flying a Pride flag was even conceivable. Edmonds’ reputation for inclusion, and the intelligence of its residents, are some of the reasons I chose to retire here. Yes, arguing over a flag may seem a bit silly or trivial to some, but for more and more people today, that Pride flag embodies a heck of a lot of meaningful history–from Stonewall and decriminalization, to Matthew Shepard and the battle for marriage equality–not to mention the blood, sweat, and tears–and love– it took to stand up to hate. So fly the Pride flag, Mayor Rosen, and live up to your campaign rhetoric of an inclusive Edmonds that everyone can take pride in.

      1. Thank you, Bob Walls, for mentioning the history the flag embodies. I would not be here but for the courageous acts of those before me, especially the trans women of color who led the Stonewall Uprising.

        We cannot go backwards in the fight for civil rights, yet that is exactly what our mayor has chosen to do.

    3. I have to wonder if those speaking against this understand they are also speaking against their fellow neighbor. I want to say “no”, but I fear it’s the opposite. Has anyone who has posted that the Pride flag boring or unnecessary said it directly to those Edmonds neighbors who feel closely tied to it? Not everything has to be about “you” for it to matter.

  16. Boy we sure need that appeal to heaven flag about now. I don’t have a problem flying the pride flag for a day but for a month gives others a reason to have their flag flown also. Should Confederates of Edmonds get equal consideration? I think the city has and will support the pride movement no need to fly the flag at city hall. Heck if we must fly that flag then the Fairchild coat of arms flag should also be flown at least one day a year.

  17. There are thousands of people dying in conflicts around the globe and we are discussing flags. Whoa.

    1. There are thousands of people dying in conflicts around the globe, and we are discussing poverty, traffic, medical costs, schools, the Sounders, parking, red light cameras… and yes, flags. Not talking about them is going to stop the conflicts? Ignoring symbols that mean a great deal to some people will stop people dying in wars? We can’t be concerned about more than one thing at a time?

      Being reminded of inequalities and bigotry at home actually IS a way of making reminding ourselves of inequalities everywhere, and a is step toward creating an awareness that might actually lead to doing something about those conflicts and deaths. Awareness, like compassion, starts at home.

      1. Nathaniel, I want to thank you so much for all of your words throughout this thread. When we speak UP for representation, increased visibility and access to equality we’re not just doing it for our communities, we’re carving a path of leadership and a way forward for all underrepresented peoples. I hope to cross paths with you someday if only to personally say thank you.

    2. According to the most current annual report available from the FBI, hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation have increased by almost 10% and hate crimes on the basis of gender identity have increased by almost 50% in Washington State. In one year. I would like to think we have the capacity to work towards ending world strife and also offer what is a pretty small token of support for a local community who is continually targeted.

  18. Many of Edmond’s citizens, like all US citizens, are tired of the “hype” around equal rights. This is the problem. It is common knowledge that equal rights are not yet observed fully by every citizen of the US. If equal rights and acceptance by your community doesn’t affect you personally because you’re not marginalized, it may seem “over the top” to complain about a flag. But that flag means acceptance by the community. To someone that is marginalized, it is a BIG DEAL. It may mean that they can feel safe. And don’t we want that for all our fellow Edmonds neighbors? That flag should have been flown. Period.

  19. We are one country and one flag to represent all Americans in Edmonds, which should be the only flag flown on a government building. The Old glory our red, white and blue American Flag.

  20. The idea of acceptance displays, flags can be a conundrum if we must fly flags for everyone’s personal struggles in America. Do the Christians get a flag flown, Woman, Jews, Muslims because they have been persecuted in history and today? The American flag does it not represent all of those battles being the flag for our country.?

  21. The narrative is if you don’t ‘advocate for’ then you are an ‘oppressor’. Folks saying they are marginalized get to force others to support them even if it is against their values and beliefs….that’s what is being called “inclusive”. Government facilities should fly one flag, Old Glory. Let the mayor and City Council focus on matters they are mandated for like running the city which is near financial disaster.

  22. How about we fly 1 flag, the American flag, which represents freedom? That freedom includes the right to be who you are. I don’t care if you are gay, lesbian, bi or whatever new categories we have now. We have laws on the books that take care of criminals who trample on mine and your rights. Now, have an Edmonds kind of day!

  23. I think what we need is a flag pavilion in civic park people that want to fly a flag can apply to the city pay a small fee get approval buy their flag and be responsible for putting it up and taking it down each day. I don’t think the city should be in the business of pandering to one group or another. I might not like your flag and you might not like mine but if the city is going to fly yours then there should be other groups that can get their flag flown also it is just fair.

  24. To take this as a sign Mayor Rosen doesn’t support the LGBTQ+ community is to ignore the fact that he supported a major expansion of the city’s Pride activities; appointed an LGBTQ+ community champion; has at least half a dozen pride flags flying from street lights downtown; and issued a proclamation for Pride month. It is also dismissive of the three city staff (maybe more) who spent a great deal of time and effort on the celebrations. One flag does not outweigh their efforts, or the mayor’s support for those efforts.
    I think there’s a special distinction about a flag on city hall. I completely understand the concern about how a flag can cause division or discomfort. The flag in the picture is called the progress flag, and as a bi man, every time I see it I feel excluded and erased. I have explained this to friends, and to several businesses and churches flying or displaying it. Some replaced it. I’ve stopped going to some stores where they have them. It divides the LGBTQ+ community. So I have some empathy for someone who may, for whatever reason (and any reason would sadden me), feel pushed away by a pride flag – any pride flag. City hall has to be a place any citizen can go to get city services, any time.

  25. Excellent point about our City staff who put in many many hours making Pride events a success. And I want to publicly apologize for comments I have made that were (albeit unintentionally) dismissive of that work and of these staff members whom I believe we are privileged to have on board, working to make our city a better place. And I know their work could not be done without support and approval from the mayor.

    That said, I’m still troubled by the reasons given as to the shift from flying the flag in past years to not flying the flag this year, as quoted in press coverage. Like someone posted earlier, it doesn’t align with the official support provided for Pride events. Clearly there are community conversations to be had so folks who were taken aback when we read the news story can understand what seems to some of us as a disconnect between the amazing efforts by staff (and volunteers) and the explanation about the flag.

  26. Someone left a message by drawing pride colors in front of the entrance to City Hall. Check it out!

  27. Although I have no opinion on the flag controversy either way, it’s clear that the city administration has squandered its reputation on a number of city issues and it’s understandable why many people are unhappy, Warren Buffett said, “We can afford to lose money – even a lot of money. But we can’t afford to lose reputation – even a shred of reputation.”

  28. We have had groups that wanted to remove the American flags that Edmonds groups put out on some Government holidays and there’s much less comments about that situation and that flag has been the same since Alaska and Hawaii joined the United States. The Pride flag has changed over most recent time represents by design much more than what’s stated by most of these comments. The City of Edmonds is a Government office for the people not a single or separate group interest or lifestyle choice.

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