Somebody has been tearing down and burning rainbow flags in Hudson, Wis.
“One family has been targeted twice, so that ramps it up for us a little bit,” the police chief told WCCO last week. “We’re a very open community here, we enjoy everyone who comes and who lives here, and we want everybody to feel safe and secure.”
It’s been happening at times over the last year, the police department said last week on its Facebook page.
Since then, something pretty neat happened in the river town. Faster than thieves could rip them down, rainbow flags went up, the Hudson Star Observer reports.
“Originally we thought you tear one down, four go back up,” Dave Urban said. “And so this is sort of the same thing. You tear four down and maybe a hundred go up.”
Rebecca Bonesteel is close to hitting that hundred mark. Over the weekend, she and her three daughters passed out fliers asking others to fly the rainbow flag. They raised $385, enough for 60 flags, and already have 45 people who said they will be flying them.
“It’s a horrible thing that happened,” Bonesteel said. “That’s not what Hudson is made of.”
Denise Carter said she is now flying her own rainbow flag after learning about the incident. She said no matter someone’s beliefs, it is not acceptable to treat them disrespectfully. Already a supporter of the LGBT community, Carter said this spurred her to be more vocal.
“I’m not going to just sit back,” Carter said. “This allows me that voice that says, you know what, not here.”
A group of Hudson High School students also spent a day chalk-drawing rainbow flags on the sidewalks in the neighborhood where the thefts occurred.
“We were just kind of really frustrated by that and the hate we saw in the community,” sophomore Anna Arthur told the paper.
“I would feel wonderful if every house on this block had a flag,” resident Carol Holton said. “I can’t think of a better answer than that.”
Her flag, which originally went up in solidarity with a neighbor, was among those taken.
“They can destroy a flag but they can’t destroy a movement,” she told the Star Observer.
(h/t: Jim Camery)