Police investigate burning of Pride flag at City Hall in Arizona

Police want to track down the person who took down and burned a Pride flag that was hanging outside of the City Hall building in Tempe, Arizona.

The flag, which celebrates the LGBTQ+ community, featured rainbow colors and the city’s name across it. 

The flag was being flown alongside the American flag, the Arizona state flag and a Juneteenth flag. The Pride flag was reportedly the only one damaged.

City Manager Andrew Ching strongly condemned the act. 

“Hate has no place in Tempe. We are committed to championing diversity, inclusion and equity and ensuring that our community is safe and welcoming for everyone,” he said. 

LGBTQ+ advocates were disheartened to hear the Pride flag was targeted. 

“Both, as an organization and a community, we are appalled someone would target this symbol of unity, acceptance and belonging to the LGBTQ+ community,” said Phoenix Pride Spokesman Jeremy Helfgot.

For members of the organization, he says, the Pride flag represents inclusion and celebration, especially during Pride month.

“To see it abused like that is a horrible front. It’s an act of ignorance and an act of hate,” added Helfgot.

Tempe Vice Mayor Jennifer Adams, who is openly gay, called the incident “hurtful.”

A representative with the City of Tempe says they have already replaced the Pride flag and flagpole that was damaged in the incident.

This story was originally published by Hector Gonzales at Scripps News Phoenix.