South Carolina

Someone burned a family’s rainbow flag, SC cops say. Here’s how the neighbors reacted

Someone tore down a rainbow flag from a South Carolina couple’s home and burned it in their driveway, WCSC reports.

A man in West Ashley, outside Charleston, told police he found the burned flag Sunday morning, according to the TV station. He described the flag as a rainbow with the word “Peace” in white letters, the station reports.

Now a local organization is giving away rainbow flags to neighbors, the Alliance for Full Acceptance in Charleston said on Facebook.

“In response to a reported rainbow flag burning incident in West Ashley over the weekend, the Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA) is offering rainbow flags to community members who wish to display a flag in solidarity with the affected family and LGBTQ community,” the organization said.

According to the Alliance, one of the people in the home posted in a closed neighborhood Facebook group: “For a few months now we have had a rainbow peace flag outside of our home in Shadowmoss.... Because, well, our family believes in peace and the equality of all humans. Last night around 10:30, we saw someone run past our front window but didn’t think much of it.

“Woke up this morning to our flag burned in our side driveway outside our home. This makes me sad on many levels but concerned that someone because of their hateful beliefs would come on our property to burn a symbol of peace and love, especially when our three small children are in the home. Is this really where we are as humans? I would like to believe it is a small pocket but today I would like to encourage all to let your love be louder than hate,” the post said, according to the Alliance.

Rev. Jay Kennett of Hillsborough United Church of Christ in Orange County, N.C. put up two rainbow flags after HB2 was passed to show support for the LGBTQ community. After vandals burned them down, he replaced them only to find the new flags stol

One neighbor, Kim Snell, told WCIV, “We live in a country where we all are equal, and some people apparently don’t feel that way.”

“Following the post, there has been a wave of support for the family, and a call for people to display rainbow flags in support of the family and LGBTQ community,” the Alliance said on Facebook.

“In response, AFFA has announced that the organization will provide rainbow and transgender pride flags to anyone in the Tri-County area who will commit to displaying the flag on their residence or business,” the Alliance said.

“Incidents like this flag burning can unfortunately contribute to a culture of fear within the LGBTQ community. It reminds us of the possibility that we are living among people who harbor hate against us,” Alliance executive director Chase Glenn said in a press release.

“We know that love is stronger than hate and flying the rainbow or transgender pride flag speaks to our community’s spirit of valuing diversity, equality, and full acceptance without exception,” Glenn said.

“While it is upsetting that this flag was destroyed, the reaction of neighbors across West Ashley is no surprise to me. I know Charleston is a city of love. We appreciate all those allies who will fly a rainbow or other diversity flag to affirm this value. AFFA is happy to support this effort and donate the flags,” Alliance board president Colleen Condon said, according to the press release.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.