Rainbow Pride Flag To Fly Permanently On Federal Land For The First Time

Just when you thought Stonewall couldn't get any gayer.

A rainbow flag will soon fly at the Stonewall National Monument, making it the first such flag to be permanently placed on federal land and maintained by the National Park Service, Newsweek reports.

The Stonewall Inn, a bar located in New York’s Greenwich Village, was the site of the 1969 riots considered by many to have sparked the modern LGBT rights movement.

Last June, coinciding with New York’s Pride festivities and the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize same-sex marriage, President Barack Obama declared Stonewall a National Monument, the first official National Park Service landmark dedicated to the fight for LGBT rights.

The historic bar, along with the adjacent park and surrounding area, is now federally protected to ensure its preservation for future generations.

“It is a victory for our community to have these symbolic colors flying majestically over our Stonewall, designated as a National Monument by President Obama, even as our LGBTQ brothers and sisters are under attack by the current regime in power,” says LGBT and AIDS activist Michael Petrelis, who initiated the effort, in a statement.

During an ceremony held October 11, which is both National Coming Out Day and the 30th anniversary of the March on Washington for LGBT Rights, the rainbow flag will replace the National Park Service flag on the nautical flagpole situated outside Stonewall.

The new flag will fly “during a time when we have a president who is not particularly kind or loving to the LGBT community,” says Ken Kidd, a New York activist co-planning the unveiling ceremony. “Our rainbow colors flying in tandem with the stars and stripes is a source of inspiration, a recognition of equality, a recognition of a struggle for equality that is not over by any stretch of imagination.”

Gilbert Baker, the civil rights activist who created the rainbow flag, died earlier this year at age 65. He designed the flag nearly 40 years ago for San Francisco Pride in 1978.

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