CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A rainbow flag-burning incident reported in West Ashley prompted a social justice organization to offer more of the symbols for those willing to display them.
The Alliance for Full Acceptance said Tuesday in a news release it will offer rainbow flags to community members who wish to display one “in solidarity with the affected family and LGBTQ community.”
Following a post about the incident in a West Ashley Facebook group, AFFA said there has been “a wave of support for the family, and a call for people to display rainbow flags in support of the family and LGBTQ community.”
“Incidents like this flag burning can unfortunately contribute to a culture of fear within the LGBTQ community," AFFA Executive Director Chase Glenn said. "It reminds us of the possibility that we are living among people who harbor hate against us. As LGBTQ community members, we are grateful for our allies, including the family whose flag was burned, and we’re asking people to display rainbow flags in solidarity with this family and the LGBTQ community as a whole. We know that love is stronger than hate and flying the rainbow or transgender pride flag speaks to our community’s spirit of valuing diversity, equality, and full acceptance without exception.”
Colleen Condon, a former Charleston County Council member and newly-elected interim chair of the Charleston County Democratic Party, said the reaction of neighbors across West Ashley was “no surprise.”
“I know Charleston is a city of love,” Condon said. "We appreciate all those allies who will fly a rainbow or other diversity flag to affirm this value. AFFA is happy to support this effort and donate the flags.”
The AFFA release states that anyone who is interested in displaying one of the flags should reach out to the organization via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis said a homeowner discovered the burned flag at about 8 a.m. on Sunday.
An incident report states the victim of the vandalism told police he walked outside of his Hunters Forest Drive home and found the flag on his driveway. The flag had been hanging on a flag pole connected to the home prior to the burning, he said.
The victim said the flag had been outside his home for three months without issue.
No arrests have been made in the incident but the investigation is ongoing, Francis said.
Charleston Police are continuing to investigate the incident and ask anyone with information on the incident to call the on-duty Charleston Police detective at 843-743-7200.