Culture Guard issued this image of the flag it proposes to fly at Langley City hall.

B.C. rainbow flag opponent wants own flag raised

Says Langley accommodated ‘one identifiable group’ so it ‘must accommodate all others’

A high-profile conservative activist who said flying a rainbow flag in Langley City was oppressive to non-gay people wants her own flag raised.

Culture Guard’s Kari Simpson released the text of an Aug. 28 letter to City mayor Ted Schaffer seeking to raise what she describes as a “Canadian Judeo-Christian Flag” on the same pole as the rainbow flag was recently flown outside city hall.

Simpson said her group wants to fly the flag from Oct. 1 until the day after Thanksgiving.

In the letter, Simpson said the rainbow flag was “a definitive symbol of political power that is thus made equal in rights to my group, Judeo-Christians.”

In a written statement, Simpson said Langley City and other municipal governments “have definitively determined not to remain neutral on accommodating one identifiable group, and now must accommodate all others.”

The City said it is reviewing the request and has not made a decision.

In July, just before the rainbow flag was scheduled to be raised at Langley City hall for the second year in a row, Simpson demanded the city revoke approval of the event in a letter that complained the flag was “oppressive and used to direct hatred and contempt against anyone who dares challenge the LGBTQ narrative.”

The event proceeded, with more than 50 people attending including members of council and the school board.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Furor over rainbow flag fails to deter supporters

READ MORE: B.C.’s top court strikes down conservative activist’s $11 million claim against judges

Nathan Pachal, the Langley City councillor who proposed flying the rainbow flag for one week a year, said it does not favour one group over another.

“The rainbow flag is a general statement of inclusion and diversity and acceptance of all people,” Pachal said.

“It’s explicit in our policy,” Pachal added.

The Culture Guard proposal does not appear to meet City guidelines, Pachal said.

The City “Flag Raising Policy” states that flags “shall not promote a point of view or organization of a political, ethical, (or) religious nature …”

Attempts to raise Christian flags in other jurisdictions have proven controversial.

In St. John’s, Newfoundland in 2016, there was an outcry after a church organized a Christian flag raising at various government buildings and one flag was taken down because of complaints the church had an anti-gay agenda.

This year, a man sued the city of Boston, claiming it violated his constitutional rights by refusing to fly a Christian flag with a cross on it.

Reportedly, the city denied him a permit because it has a policy of “respectfully refraining from flying non-secular flags on City Hall flagpoles” and said it would consider a request to fly a non-religious flag instead.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

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