B.C. woman finds silver lining after third Pride flag taken down
An Aldergrove woman has had to replace a Pride flag in front of her home three times this month.
"We don't know who took it down; someone did it in the middle of the night," Lisa Ebenal said of the latest incident, which happened Friday. "It was upsetting and disappointing."
On Saturday, Ebenal proudly draped a new flag on her property and even had a couple dozen to give away.
"I was contacted by The Flag Shop in Vancouver that offered to replace my flag. I told them that I had replaced mine but there are a lot of people who are looking for them. They offered to bring out a bunch of flags," she explained.
Susan Braverman, the shop's owner, learned about the story on the news and said she felt compelled to donate 25 rainbow flags over the weekend and donate another 25 in a couple of days.
"The Pride flag is a pretty flag, it is a beautiful rainbow. It's very welcoming, I think the more they are out there, it is just quite beautiful because it is for all the people who don't fit in a box," she said.
Ebenal shared on social media that she had flags to give away in exchange for donations to PFlag Vancouver, an LGBTQ support and advocacy organization.
People from Langley, Maple Ridge and other outlying areas came to her doorstep.
"There's nothing wrong with a rainbow flag. It's for everybody: it's inclusion, it's diversity, it's love," said Chris Paige, who travelled from another community to show support. "People tearing it down for the third time now, there's something wrong."
A steady stream of strangers came to Ebenal's home and very quickly, those flags went to new homes.
"It's just been a really incredible, touching experience," Ebenal said.
The experience started on a sour note when the flag was first stolen off her property one day after it was first hung up earlier in the month.
A few days later, a neighbour complained about the rainbow flag and a bylaw officer with the Township of Langley took it down.
Once the township confirmed the flag was on Ebenal's property, it quickly returned the flag and apologized.
She said the experience has given her a glimpse into the discrimination someone from the LGBTQ community may be facing.
"It really made me appreciate -- even more so -- what they experience and what they're continuing to fight to change," she said. "It's brought a deeper meaning of the flag for me."
About 15 of her neighbours are also flying Pride flags in front of their homes to show solidarity.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Shelley Moore and Emad Agahi