No Pride in Thievery

Who would steal a Pride flag? And, why?

I suppose some people steal things just because they can, or because they need something they can’t afford, or because they want something removed from sight. The last of these is probably the reason my Pride flag was stolen on Sunday night.

Image from Daniel Quasar via Dezeen.com

Edmonton is quite supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, but Alberta generally leans to the right politically and socially. There is still a resistance to difference of all kinds, and a lingering resentment of activism by minority groups. Perhaps that is why my flag was taken down.

I wanted to hang my flag near the front door, but I was trying to use adhesive hooks on stucco and they won’t stick to uneven surfaces. By the time I realized this, I had already attached the sticky tape to the hooks and, looking around the front yard, I realized that the only smooth surfaces were on the metal fence. So, I attached the hooks to the fence and the flag to the hooks.

Then it occurred to me that the wind was likely to blow the flag off the hooks, so I secured the fence, hooks, and flag together as best I could with twist ties. “That’ll do for a month,” I thought, figuring I would take the flag down at the end of Pride month. Well, it didn’t last that long. In fact, it was up for only three days.

Image from Jurnej Furman via Flickr

There is a possibility that it simply blew away, but I have my doubts. I looked around the yard and up and down the street but didn’t see it anywhere. Given the nature of the weekend foot traffic in my neighbourhood, I’m pretty sure it was stolen.

That suspicion was reinforced this morning when I discovered that someone had tried to steal from my neighbour’s garage. The overhead door was wide open, and their cars and lots of stored items were visible to the world. I rang their house doorbell and got no answer, and I couldn’t close the overhead garage door, so I call the police non-emergency number and asked them to see to it.

They showed up within the hour, were able to speak to the neighbour, and had him close the overhead door. They called me to say that it looked as though someone had tried to steal a bike but had left it lying in the driveway. Otherwise, nothing had been taken. They thanked me for calling it in.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Maybe the same person who tried to steal a bike was so disappointed in failing to do that that they decided to steal my flag instead. Or maybe it was the other way round. Their success at stealing my flag emboldened them to try to steal a bike. Perhaps there were multiple thieves on our block that night, one more successful than the others.

Regardless, I’m just going to buy a new flag, and if that one gets stolen, I’ll keep buying them until the local thieves tire of stealing them. After I find a more secure way to display the flag, this is a battle of wills I think I can win.