Rainbow flags swapped with U.S. flags on Wabasha Freedom Bridge in St. Paul

The rainbow flags St. Paul installed atop the Wabasha Street bridge in St. Paul came down this morning.

MPR Photo/Sasha Aslanian

That’s Robert Kratzke up in the cherry picker basket, actually swapping out the flags.

Kratzke and Tim Tesser switched out the banners, put up nine days ago to commemorate the legislature’s debate, and passage, of a measure allowing same sex marriage in Minnesota. Mayor Chris Coleman temporarily renamed the span the “Wabasha Freedom to Marry Bridge,” to mark the occasion.

Tesser said a few people stopped to say thanks for putting the American flags back up.

Spokesman Joe Campbell said the city is hanging onto the rainbow flags. “We have a plan, although we’re not able to announce that yet.” That doesn’t include putting them back up when the law goes into effect on Aug. 1.

“It costs money, and we believe the community is well aware mayor Chris Coleman supports them,” Campbell said. “I think that us opening up our park system is evidence of that on Aug. 1.”

Campbell estimated the display cost the city about $1,700.