Rainbow flag vandalized outside Newark church
Special from the Newark Post
— When tragedy struck at a gay nightclub in Orlando in June and people across country were mourning the loss of dozens of innocent lives, the Rev. Cynthia Robinson hung a rainbow flag outside of New Ark United Church of Christ on Main Street.
“I was angry that these people were killed just because of who they are and I wanted to show that we were in solidarity with the families of the victims,” she said.
But the flag, which is a symbol of the LGBT community and was hanging on a pole in front of the church at 300 E. Main St., didn’t even make it until the end of the summer. According to Robinson, someone cut the flag down between the night of Aug. 9 and the follow morning.
“They left behind just the grommets on the very top, and the rest was just cut off the top,” she said.
When Robinson discovered the flag was missing Wednesday morning, she filed a report with the Newark Police Department. However, an NPD spokesman was unable to provide the Newark Post with any information about the investigation.
Robinson believes someone cut the flag, which was made out of a durable nylon material, using heavy scissors or some other sharp object. She said she’s not sure of the motive behind it, but is hoping whoever took the flag did so because they wanted it for themselves and not out of hate.
“They could have done more and they didn’t, so I’m going to assume it’s a prank,” Robinson said. “I’m going to assume that’s what it is instead of someone be- ing malicious, and if you’re the one who took the flag, I hope you’re displaying it proudly.”
She said she has already ordered another rainbow flag and plans to hang it back on the pole once it arrives. She’s not going to let the incident hinder the church’s support for the LGBT community, she said.
“Having that flag there says something, and it says something important, and to kind of give in to somebody for doing that, I mean, the pole kind of looks empty like they took that voice away,” Robinson said. “It’s almost like the Grinch who stole Christmas. He may have taken the presents and the decorations and the tree, but all the little Whos in Whoville still gathered around and sang on Christmas morning because they realized those things aren’t really what it’s about.”
Sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, someone stole this rainbow flag, which had been hanging outside New Ark United Church of Christ at 300 E. Main St.