LOUISVILLE, Colo. (KDVR) — For the second time in one week, officials in Louisville say someone has vandalized a display of Pride flags.
On June 1, Louisville Mayor Ashley Stolzmann and City Councilman Kyle Brown were among a group helping plant dozens of Pride flags to celebrate Pride month at the intersection of Cherry Street and McCaslin Boulevard.
“This is really just a wonderful place where people should know, and do know, that regardless of who they love or what their gender identity is, they’re welcome here,” Brown told FOX31.
One day later, Louisville Police said witnesses observed a 74-year-old man yanking several flags from the ground display. He was issued a municipal citation.
According to police, a Confederate flag was discovered in place of the missing Pride flags. However, it is unclear if the man who was cited is responsible for it.
“I don’t think it’s consistent with who we are as a town,” Brown said.
Brown helped rebuild the display with new flags. Then, he said over the weekend he discovered two full sections of flags were missing again.
“It’s surprising,” he said.
Out Boulder County, a non-profit dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ community, supplied Louisville with another new set of flags to replace what had been reportedly taken during the second incident.
“We have a closet full of flags right now, and as many as we can get out, we will get out,” Out Boulder County’s Juan Moreno said. “We want folks to know that we’re here.”
He said last year the group gave out 2,000-3,000 flags. This year, he said they’ve handed out “definitely a lot more than that.”
With the increase of Pride flags in the community comes an increase in vandalism against them, Moreno said. In his five years with the organization, he believes this is the first time Pride flags have been targeted in Boulder County.
“It’s really amazed me that this year a lot more folks have come out and decided to do more destructive acts like these,” he said.
Aside from Louisville, there have been reports of flags and a banner damaged on the 29th Street Mall and Pride flags ripped and burned at the Museum of Boulder, Moreno said.
“We have more flags than they have to burn, so we’ll just keep replenishing and make sure that they stay up,” Moreno said.