For the first time, the City of Rossland raised a rainbow flag to celebrate Kootenay Pride week.
A flag raising ceremony took place at City Hall early Monday morning, with many Rosslanders sharing in the moment. Everyone had the chance to help themselves to some flare — beads, flowers, rainbow clothing and accessories — and then Mayor Kathy Moore hoisted the flag aloft, along with the Canadian and BC flags, while the crowd cheered and “raised the roof.”
The idea to fly the flag came from the Creating a Supportive Rossland (CSR) group. The group started through the Rossland Youth Action Network (YAN), and in mid-February CSR members brought a request to council to fly the flag outside City Hall, either year-round or during Kootenay Pride week, and to paint a rainbow crosswalk outside Rossland Summit School following the construction on Washington St.
“We just wanted to show our support for Rossland and everyone in it, and we thought a Pride flag would be a good idea because we weren’t sure if we would have enough people to have a parade, so we thought a flag would be a really great idea,” said Ellie Knox, a young CSR member, who was very excited to see the flag go up.
Council approved both the request for the flag and the crosswalk in early March.
“It seems like we should have been doing this years ago, so I think it’s great,” said Mayor Moore. “It shows our diversity, it shows our inclusiveness, it shows our willingness to embrace all people, which is what a small town should do.”
The flag was paid for by a grant obtained by YAN.