Pride flag now flying at Edmonds City Hall

Photo courtesy City of Edmonds

Responding to public concerns about the City of Edmonds’ decision not to fly the Pride flag at Edmonds City Hall during Pride Month this year, the city installed the flag on Thursday.

In a statement Thursday announcing the flag’s installation, the city expressed gratitude “to all who reached out to us personally to share the impact that not seeing the Pride flag on city hall had on you. It has given us much to think about.”

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. But it was not installed at city hall this year, with the explanation in a city statement last week 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.”

In its Thursday statement, the city pointed to its “commitment to action during Pride month. We’ve been proud of the significant increase in our support for the LGBTQ+ community this year.” The city’s activities in 2024, which were planned with help from community groups, included nine separate Pride events. Participants wrote grants and secured sponsors to cover $15,000 in expenses, and city staff members donated “significant personal volunteer hours” and made financial contributions,” the city said.

“We were humbled by the impact that these activities had on so many who reached out to us to say thank you,” the statement said. “However, what we did not do was fully acknowledge the significance of the flag on city hall. Actions speak louder than words, and symbols can often speak louder than actions. It is back.”

  1. OK, now can we go with a rainbow-only flag that represents the whole community equally? I’ll provide it if the city can’t find one.

  2. Thank you, to the city of Edmonds, and everyone’s passion for the LGBTQ+ community. Love is love, and love is what wins!

  3. I have a gay son and actually didn’t have an issue with the decision not to fly the pride flag because we do not fly a flag for other months so seemed ok.
    Why don’t we fly a flag for Black History Month or AAPI Month? Seems to me if we recognize one month with a flag we should recognize all months that celebrate these things.
    We also do not do a good job of acknowledging those who celebrate holidays other than Christmas.
    Either we are inclusive of ALL or we are not – shouldn’t pick and choose which things are represented.

      1. Whether flag-flying on government property implicates constitutional issues, including but not limited to violation of the 1st or 14th Amendments, depends on whether the government decides to fly the flag as a matter of public policy or if it chooses to fly certain flags per requests of private groups. The US Supreme Court jurisprudence addressing this issue is clear.

    1. The Pride flag IS inclusive for all. That’s the entire point and power of it. Businesses put it on their windows to indicate a safe and welcoming place for ALL people. The brown stripe in the flag is also a sign of safety and welcome to BIPOC community members, who you imply are being excluded by this.

      Flying the Pride flag at city hall is a message that Edmonds is welcoming and safe to ALL people, and honestly it should fly year-round not just during Pride month. Taking it down the rest of the year implies that the city only cares about being safe and welcoming when there is popular pressure to do so. But overall, there is no “picking and choosing” going on here. The Pride flag may highlight a few particular marginalized groups, but the meaning behind it is one of universal acceptance and that is a wonderful, year-round, message for the city to send.

  4. I think the problem was that having flown the flag for a number of years, suddenly they didn’t. A consistent approach, and an even-handed policy would help. Special flags for one day or perhaps a week? None but state and national flags? Now that Pride month is almost over, community discussion and conversation might be able to frame a policy we could all live with.

    And thanks to those who put the flag back up – a good and supportive response to those who were troubled by the absence of the flag.

  5. I would like a Jesus flag. Edmonds local government is leaving themselves open to lawsuits. Newcastle chose to not hang the Pride flag and other cities have chosen that also. Edmonds city government has shown their true colors. They should be so proud that they exclude the majority of people in Edmonds.

    1. Steve, Newcastle voted to raise the flag for the remainder of June. My grandbabies, who are raised black, tell me the flag is meant to represent inclusion for all, not to be a tribal marker as you speak of.

    2. Steve, a “Jesus” flag is not the opposite of a Pride flag. Just because your religion may be homophobic/transphobic, doesn’t mean that all Christian faiths are. There are many Christians that are also a part of the LGTBQIA2s+ community. Flying a Pride flag does not negate or denigrate anyone’s faith. What it does do, however, is let a significant percentage of the population feel seen, heard, and like it’s okay to exist. That is especially important for young people.

      Thank you City Hall for returning the flag. However, it doesn’t take the sting out of the slap, at least for me.

      1. Shileah, I am not homophobic at all. I believe that only government flags should be flown on government buildings. Flying anything other than that is excluding people that don’t agree. Government whether local or national should raise up all people whoever they are and their beliefs. They should not pick and choose certain beliefs over others. Government is to be a representative of all the people.

  6. I provided the following links to City Officials on August 25, 2022:

    https://mrsc.org/Home/Stay-Informed/MRSC-Insight/May/Flag-Display-What-Every-Jurisdiction-Should-Know.aspx

    https://mrsc.org/Home/Explore-Topics/Governance/Special-Topics/Flag-Display.aspx

    The first article has been updated since then, possibly to add discussion of the Shurtleff v. City of Boston U.S. Supreme Court Decision.

    The city may have been better prepared for flag display decisions had they adopted flag display policies. Maybe City Officials will decide to do so now.

  7. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” George Orwell, Animal Farm

  8. Great for them.

    Showing that we stand for some basic human rights is the sign of a civilized society.

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