Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rainbow flags get reprieve for St. Pete Pride festival

ST. PETERSBURG — City officials and organizers behind the city's annual St. Pete Pride festival have hammered out a potential compromise that would allow the nonprofit to temporarily fly a slightly modified rainbow flag in the city's gay-friendly business district.

City employees "aren't anti-gay and weren't doing something specifically against the community," said Jeff Klein, co-chairman of this year's St. Pete Pride celebration, after meeting with city officials Wednesday afternoon. "It was just needing to find that compromise."

The calm rhetoric was an abrupt shift from the impassioned accusations voiced Tuesday by some organizers.

The overnight standoff began when city officials shot down St. Pete Pride's request to hang rainbow flags on light posts in the Grand Central District during June.

Organizers wanted to fly the flags in recognition of Pride Month.

City officials, however, said the flags do not meet St. Petersburg policy, which states all banners must meet one of four requirements: They must identify an area or district, give a welcome message, promote a special event or publicize a cultural venue.

But after years of Mayor Rick Baker snubbing the festival (the city's largest single-day event), St. Pete Pride assumed the worst. Organizers reached out to the American Civil Liberties Union to prepare for a potential lawsuit.

After the St. Petersburg Times and reported on the flag flap, city officials invited organizers to discuss the issue.

In a one-hour meeting, a modified flag with the words "St. Pete Pride" professionally affixed was tentatively approved.

The meeting ended on a congenial note, said Beth Herendeen, the city's marketing director.

"We all shook hands," she said. "We are very happy that it was a positive meeting."

Cristina Silva can be reached at (727) 893-8846 or

Rainbow flags get reprieve for St. Pete Pride festival 05/27/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 9:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)


    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.