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Farmers Erect Huge Pride Flag After School Bans LGBTQ+, BLM Symbols

Newberg Pride flag

An Oregon couple says displaying support for queer people and POC is not a political act.

After the school board in Newberg, Ore., banned displays of Pride flags, Black Lives Matter signage, and other supposedly "political" items, citizens have responded by erecting a large wooden Pride flag on a hill.

Erin and Jaybill McCarthy, who have a farm near Newberg High School, posted on social media about their plans for the flag. Many people responded by donating funds for materials, and volunteers from all over the state joined the couple Sunday to put the flag up, Portland TV station KGW reports.

On 17 by 30 feet of plywood, they painted a progress Pride flag, which incorporates not only the traditional rainbow colors of the flag but black and brown stripes for people of color and pale pink, light blue, and white for transgender people. It now sits on a hill within view of the high school football field.

The McCarthys objected to the idea that Pride flags and BLM signs were political. "It's not expressing a Democratic idea or Republican idea or conservative or liberal," Erin McCarthy told KGW. "It's human beings."

"It's recognition that people exist," her husband added. The school board's ban, approved August 10 but undergoing legal review before taking effect, felt like erasure of all these people, he said.

They are pleased with the resulting flag. "We wanted maximum visibility," Erin McCarthy said. "The result is pretty amazing; we love it." However, she added, "I wish it could be 10 times bigger."

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