Antelope Valley Fair Removes Rainbow Flags After Complaints | NBC Southern California

Antelope Valley Fair Removes Rainbow Flags After Complaints

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    Antelope Valley Fair organizers have reportedly removed several dozen rainbow-colored flags for the symbol's association with gay pride. (Published Friday, Aug. 19, 2011)

    Antelope Valley Fair organizers have reportedly removed several dozen rainbow-colored flags for the symbol's association with gay pride.

    According to the Antelope Valley Press report, which resides behind a paywall, the flags were removed after an anonymous complaint to the city stating that the flags endorsed gay rights, said Lancaster resident Sue Hudler.

    Reportedly the city was unaware of the rainbow-color flags had any symbolism relating to gay pride.

    "I got another phone call the next day from a very irate individual that explained to me what we had up," according to Dan Jacobs, General Manager.

    The fair maintains it is not taking a political position on this issue.

    But Jacobs took the issue up with the fair's executive committee.

    "Do I take a stand and say 'I don't believe in this, or whatever?' We said, no," according to Jacobs. "Why don't we just take them all down right now because we've only got a couple calls. No one will know, because we're not trying to make a statement."

    But people did notice.

    Lancaster's Outreach Center said taking down the flags sends a poor message.

    Still, whether intended or not, this isn't the first time the Antelope Valley has faced allegations of bigotry.

    The US Department of Justice recently opened an investigation into civil rights allegations by police in the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale.

    An official with the Justice Department spoke Friday addressing the allegations that deputies have harassed minority residents of government-subsidized housing.

    “While the rates of felony arrests are similar to elsewhere in the county, the two cities appear to have unusually high rates of misdemeanor arrests, and particularly high rates of arrests of African Americans,” said Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez.