Pride Flags Stolen from Sturgeon Bay Properties
Pride flags were stolen Wednesday in Sturgeon Bay from public property, multiple local businesses and at least one home.
The flags have been flying in advance of Open Door Pride’s sixth annual Pride festival taking place June 25 in Sturgeon Bay’s Martin Park from 10 am – 5 pm.
Flags were removed from ARTicipation Studio & Gallery, Inn at Cedar Crossing, the Miller Art Museum’s M3 Gallery, Destination Sturgeon Bay and Sturgeon Bay’s Martin Park, as well as a private home.
At a few businesses, flag poles were tampered with, and at the M3 Gallery, flags were ripped off the walls.
The perpetrator or perpetrators are unknown, but the investigation is ongoing, said Sturgeon Bay Police Department Assistant Chief of Police Dan Brinkman.
The event constitutes an ordinance violation, not a crime, Brinkman said, but if it continues, it could rise to the level of a crime.
Open Door Pride founder Cathy Grier believes the violations were motivated by homophobia, but she’s seen an outpouring of support for businesses that posted about the event on social media.
“There’s no place for any kind of hatred in our world,” Grier said.
Some affected businesses, including ARTicipation Studio & Gallery on Sturgeon Bay’s west side, have already put up a new flag. That’s thanks to Open Door Pride’s Pride Flag Initiative, through which any local business that wants a Pride flag can receive one for free.
“Anyone that contacts us and says their flag is down, we’re gonna give them a flag,” Grier said. “We’re faster than Prime.”