On Saturday, someone stole a Pride flag from outside a church in Texas and replaced it with an American flag. The unknown assailant left a typed note reading, “I didn’t agree with your flag so I took it down. If you don’t agree with this one, you can take it down. P.S. there are only 2 (two) genders.”
The stolen flag was donated to the Community Unitarian Universalist Church in Plano last October by member Betsy Friauf, as a symbol of the church’s inclusivity. Friauf says she’s surprised the flag wasn’t stolen or desecrated earlier.
“It wasn’t a shock to me, but it is disappointing,” she told NBC 5 in Dallas. “But, you know, they gave us a gift—they left us a brand new American flag.”
Reverend Patrick Price said while the theft is “annoying,” he doesn’t see it as a crisis. “We hope that it opens up a large dialogue with the community as a whole,” he explained. To the thief, he says, “Come and talk to us. Have a conversation.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, the church had a backup flag ready for just such a contingency.
“We’re not naive. We realize when we put up the first flag, we realized someone might decide they wanted to remove it without our permission,” said Friauf. “So we decided we would have a flag in reserve.” The new rainbow banner will be hoisted alongside the American flag this Saturday.