Mysterious flyers asking to boycott Progress Pride Flag posted around SF's Castro District

Lyanne Melendez Image
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Flyers asking to boycott Progress Pride Flag posted in SF
Mysterious flyers asking to boycott Progress Pride Flag were posted around San Francisco's Castro District.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- People in San Francisco's Castro District are wondering who is putting up flyers asking the community to ban the Progress Pride Flag developed in 2018 by artist Daniel Quasar. It celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. The issue is creating a divide within that community.

Since 1978 the Rainbow Flag has gallantly represented the LGBTQ+ community.

But in recent years, transgender people and those in the Black and Brown communities have embraced another symbol of their pride, the Progress Pride Flag.

"I think there is a long history of a certain segment of our community getting left behind or left out of the movement. Certainly, we are not a community that is immune to discrimination even in the Castro itself," explained LGBTQ+ activist Honey Mahogany.

RELATED: San Francisco's LGBT community remembers Gilbert Baker

When Gilbert Baker created the Rainbow Flag in 1978 he called for a more inclusive society.

"Flags are about power, flags say something, you put a Rainbow Flag on your windshield, you're saying something," said Baker during a 2017 interview with ABC7's Lyanne Melendez only weeks before he died.

There are many people who want the Rainbow Flag to continue being the symbol of diversity and inclusivity and not the Progress Pride Flag. As people look up in the Castro, they are discovering that someone, some time in the night, posted flyers, asking people to boycott the Progress Pride Flag because it has the colors of both the Trans Pride Flag and the Rainbow Flag and they claim someone is profiting from it.

"That flag has been the Baker flag for years and years and to incorporate it into a new design outside the community without the community's consent is daring," said Michael Walker who was visiting the Castro District which is a predominately gay neighborhood.

VIDEO: Gilbert Baker, creator of rainbow flag, shares story of strength and pride

As the gay community was rising, then activist Harvey Milk saw the need to create something that would symbolize that community. Milk approached a young artist and sewer from Kansas to fulfill his message of hope.

The person who created the Progress Pride Flag is Portland-based artist Daniel Quasar.

"The information is false and anything you need to know about the Progress Flag and its use is clear and explicit on my website," Quasar told us in a phone interview.

Quasar sends the following information to anyone who wants to use his flag.

Here's what he writes, "If you are a small business, a Queer-owned and/or operated business, or an artist (in other words, you are not a large corporation) you do not need my permission for this, and I encourage you."

RELATED: Original rainbow flag returns home to SF, displayed at GLBT Historical Society

"It's (Progress Pride Flag) not something that is controversial, it's something that is meant to be inclusive and welcoming and that's what the LGBTQ+ community is all about," added Mahogany.

But some wonder how this latest debate will change the dialog in this community.

"I thought it was meant to bring the community together, not tear us apart," said long-time resident Andy Anderson.

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