An Aldergrove woman is getting frustrated after thieves made away with the Pride flag hanging on the front of her property Saturday, marking the third time she’s had to hang a replacement.
Lisa Ebenal said Saturday the flag went missing overnight along with a second flag she recently hung around the corner, also on her property. The two were ripped down hours apart, she added.
“It’s disappointing and surprising,” she said. “If they want to disagree, that’s fine, but leave my flag be. It’s not their yard. Just leave it be.”
This marks the third time a flag has been stolen from Ebenal’s property. An unknown person stole her original rainbow flag two weeks ago.
Last week, a staff member from the Township of Langley removed her replacement after a neighbour complained.
The staff member mistakenly assumed the sign the flag was covering, which marks the entrance to Ebenal’s community of Bertrand Creek, was on public property like most other community signs.
The flag was returned after the township realized the error.
WATCH: (Aired June 16) Pride flag centre of controversy in Langley neighbourhood
Despite the complaint coming from a neighbour, other residents in the community quickly rallied behind Ebenal by hanging their own Pride flags. By Monday, rainbows were hanging off the front of 15 homes.
On Saturday, Ebenal not only hung yet another new Pride flag on her property but also was handing them out to more neighbours who had told her they wanted to take part.
“I’ve had a lot of people in Langley, Aldergrove and other areas who wanted to put up a Pride flag and private messaged me that they didn’t know where to get one,” she said.
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She reached out to the Flag Shop in Vancouver, who provided Ebenal with 25 flags to pass around while collecting donations for the LGBTQ2 advocacy group PFlag Vancouver.
Ebenal didn’t have to travel far. Several residents came to her directly for a flag, giving her hugs while they made their donations.
Teenager Trinity-Ann England picked up two flags, one for herself and one for her friend.
England also criticized whoever is taking down the flags or complaining about them, saying the anti-LGBTQ2 sentiment makes her feel “scared to go outside now.”
“It won’t help us anyways to grow our community, because it makes other people who haven’t come out to their parents yet feel like the world’s against them again, so it isn’t a great way to help youth grow,” she said.
Ebenal said the support she’s seen in the community has been overwhelming.
“It’s been a lot more emotional than I expected,” she said. “People are so appreciative of the support, and in turn, I’m really appreciative of their support. So that’s been a really nice feeling.”
While losing multiple flags in under a month is disheartening, Ebenal said she won’t be deterred.
“If anyone wants to come and take my flag, I have quite a few more so I’ll just keep replacing it,” she said. “I just want to fly my flag. It’s Pride month. Leave it be.”
PFlag Vancouver has also invited Ebenal to march with them in the Vancouver Pride Parade this summer.