Santa Fe pride flag vandalized twice in 2 weeks
SANTA FE, N.M. – City of Santa Fe leaders say in the last two weeks the pride flag on the plaza has been vandalized multiple times.
So, KOB 4 spoke to the city manager Tuesday afternoon to see how they plan on moving forward.
“As soon as the flag went down on the plaza it was instantly joyous for people. They were taking pictures with it by themselves, asking others to get into the photo with them. So it’s really been a point of pride in the community and something to celebrate,” said Santa Fe City Manager John Blair.
But that celebration didn’t last long. Since it was installed on the plaza, the pride flag has been vandalized twice.
“Disappointment clearly, but also a resignation as the country moves forward, and we achieve more inclusivity there is a small group of homophobes and are afraid of the future do these ugly things to strike back,” said Blair.
On Monday, the progressive pride flag on Santa Fe’s plaza was spray-painted with a white cross that reads “Jesus saves.”
“Intentionally placing ‘Jesus saves’ over a version of a pride flag is not intended to be loving or welcoming. It’s meant to be discriminatory and hateful,” said Blair.
While the city was quick to clean up the paint, KOB 4 learned this wasn’t the first time city workers had to wipe away vandalism from the flag.
“There was a previous incident last week when the flag was newer and someone vandalized the flag with some disparaging things to say about gay people,” Blair said.
Last week’s graffiti was more vulgar using profanity and slurs. But Blair says he is not letting these hateful messages ruin Pride Month, preferring it to be a history lesson.
“Santa Fe has had a long proud queer history when I was a kid growing up here. There were more gay people per capita here than there was in San Francisco. We are an integral part of the community, and we shouldn’t have to hide or be subjected to a small group of homophobes who are afraid of us, and are being illogical about the contributions we make to our community,” Blair said.
This display will only be up until the end of the month, but the city is planning on installing a permanent rainbow flag over by the Rail Yard Markets.