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.

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