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West Hollywood agrees to fly new city flag with rainbow colors

Matthew ShepardPolitics

The West Hollywood City Council has responded to growing criticism over the removal of a rainbow flag from atop City Hall by agreeing to a compromise.

The rainbow flag – which was raised above West Hollywood City Hall in June – will stay down. However, the city will hang a new City of West Hollywood flag that incorporates rainbow colors into the city logo, a rough geographic outline of the city. Council members agreed to the change at a meeting Monday night.

“This has been a very exciting debate,” said Mayor Pro Tem John D’Amico, who is gay. “I think flying a rainbow flag at City Hall is perhaps not as interesting as flying the City of West Hollywood adopted flag that has the rainbow on it. There’s a pedigree there, there’s a history.”

The rainbow flag was removed in January after an earlier unanimous vote by the council to maintain the city’s practice of displaying only the United States, California and city flags on public facilities. At one meeting, Councilman John Duran, who is gay, said the city “belongs to all of us” and is "not just a city of gay men."

More than 40% of West Hollywood’s residents identify themselves as gay or lesbian, according to city surveys, and four of the five council members are gay men.

Council members said they received complaints from the community as soon as the flag was removed.

The new city flag will feature a rainbow-colored city logo that already is displayed on the vehicles of Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in the West Hollywood Station and city vehicles. 

The council also voted to add flagpoles to the Matthew Shepard Human Rights Triangle at Santa Monica and Crescent Heights boulevards on which to fly the rainbow flag and the pink, blue and white transgender flag.  

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