A pride flag that went missing from the flagpole of a private home on South Fletcher Road in Gibsons likely won’t be returned in time for the Sunshine Coast Pride parade on June 23, as its owner was hoping.
“We’ve been living at this place on South Fletcher and that flag has been flying for about four years,” said Fraser Biggs. “[We’ve] never had any issues before.”
Biggs noticed its absence June 5 upon his return from a four-day trip. The flagpole is located on his second-floor deck overlooking Gibsons Marina. No stores on the Sunshine Coast sell this particular kind of standard, which resembles the Canadian flag but with rainbow colours instead of the official red and white.
At the time, Biggs said he hadn’t reported the incident to the RCMP, in part because he wasn’t sure of the perpetrator’s motivations.
“I don’t want to accuse anyone without any real evidence, I’m just going to [let it] fly,” said Biggs at the time.
And fly it did.
After news of the flag’s disappearance circulated on social media, Biggs’ nephew Rick shined a light on its whereabouts: the flag had flown from Gibsons to Granby, a tiny village about 23 kilometres east of Nottingham, England.
“I noticed the flag, it was great, I’d never seen a Canadian flag with pride colours before,” said Rick.
Rick had noticed the flag when he and several other family members had gathered at Fraser’s house in early June for a reunion and memorial. “I wanted to fly the flag here,” said Rick from his home in Granby, adding that it appeals to him, “in equal measures, one because it’s a pride flag and also because it’s a Canadian maple leaf flag.” At some point, somebody had suggested the flag was replaceable, according to Rick, which freed his conscience enough to nab it.
“It will be going up my flag pole, and appropriately, given it’s Pride Month,” he said. Rick counts him and his partner as the only gay people in the town of 300.
As for Fraser, rather than drive to Vancouver to purchase a replacement, he devised another solution – stringing up a collection of his T-shirts in a rainbow arrangement. “My replacement [T-shirt flag] is already up flying – it looks kind of neat, actually.” His hope is that those T-shirts will stick around for June, which the Town of Gibsons has also proclaimed Pride Month. “If somebody takes those, I’m going to have to walk around town with a pride flag painted on my bare chest.”