Stella Maxwell
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Rainbow Flag Burned Again Outside NYC's Only Black-Owned Gay Lounge

FLAG BURNED AGAIN

A rainbow flag outside a New York City gay bar has been burned in a second incident in just six weeks.

Alibi Lounge owners told police that a flag was found burning outside the club early Monday morning, according to the Associated Press. Owner Alexi Minko told police someone on the street had notified staff about the issue.

The vandalism at the Harlem bar came barely a month after another man set fire to two flags outside the same bar. The incident was captured on film and broadcast by WLNY, but the investigation remains open.

The first burning happened on May 31.

“I have to say that what I find odd was the timing of both events,” Minko told AP. “One was at the beginning of Pride and one was right at the end. One has to wonder if there’s a kind of message they’re trying to send.”

He also said staff took flags down on July 4 when individuals were intentionally throwing firecrackers around the flammable symbols. But the club received no threats during Pride Month.

Minko said landlords for the building continue to run surveillance cameras, so there may be footage of the recent crime as well. But no description is yet available of any suspect.

New York City police are investigating the original incident as a possible antigay hate crime.

Minko recently said the bar, after the first act of vandalism, received an anonymous donation of a larger rainbow flag to fly in front of the club.

It’s unclear if that new flag was the one damaged in the second incident.

Alibi Lounge bills itself as the only black-owned gay bar in the city.

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