Homeless in Vancouver: Found the city hall Pride flag; thanks George!

On Friday, I posted that I couldn’t find the Pride flag that was supposed to be flying at Vancouver City Hall.

Well, I found it yesterday in the pouring rain.

I was still thinking the rainbow flag would be conspicuously flying amongst the gaggle of flags on the southwest corner of city hall where it would have maximum visibility but no, it still wasn’t there.

This time I walked all the way around the building, and when I got to the north-side entrance, where I was positive it wouldn’t be, Captain George Vancouver was kind enough to point it out to me.

When you assume you make an ass out of u and…

The difficulty, it turned out, lay in interpreting the source that told me it was there in the first place.

The Province item of February 13 reported that a large Canadian flag was on display on the north side of the building, which I’d already seen, and that a Pride flag was flying in front of city hall.

Being a reasonable person I assumed the Pride flag was on the other side—the south side of the building on 12th Avenue. I’ve always thought the south side on busy 12th Avenue was the front of the building rather than the north side, on 10th Avenue. In truth, both the north and south entrances look equally “fronty”.

The Pride flag is certainly prominent in front of the north entrance; it’s just a shame you can’t see it from the street.

There’s probably a good bureaucratic reason the Pride flag is on that specific pole. That may be Vancouver City Hall’s equivalent of what Toronto’s city hall calls its “courtesy flag pole”.

Over the objections of Toronto mayor Rob Ford, Toronto City Hall is flying a Pride flag from its courtesy flagpole, which is the dominion of Toronto’s chief of protocol, not the mayor.

In the City of Vancouver, the office of the city manager is responsible for external relations and protocol.

The rainbow flag has been a symbol of gay pride for over 30 years. Vancouver is one of many cities around the world flying it now, during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, to show support for the human rights of the Russian gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, following the passage of an anti-gay law—the now infamous Article 6.21—by the Russian Federation parliament to outlaw “homosexual propaganda”.

Click the images to enlarge them.

On the north side of city hall looking south.
STANLEY Q. WOODVINE

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