Orange County mayor Teresa Jacobs ordered Section 93 of the Sea-to-Sea Rainbow Flag to be displayed at the Orange County Administration building in Orlando starting June 16.
“When we hosted a ceremony in our office [June 15] trying to send a message to Westboro Baptist Church that you need not come here, we met the gentleman in charge of the [Sea-to-Sea Rainbow Flag] named Mark Eppenhock from Love is Love is Love Key West,” Jacobs says. “He came up to us after to talk about the fact that he wanted to fly the flag at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center because they already have their colors up in lights.”
Section 93 is part of the iconic 1.25-mile long rainbow banner sewed together in Key West by original rainbow flag designer Gilbert Baker and a team of volunteers in 2003 to commemorate the LGBT symbol’s 25th anniversary.
“I personally called my county administrator and said, ‘I want the flag hung and I want it hung at our building facing Orange Avenue in as prominent a location as we can and I want the facilities folks to find lighting so that we can have it lit at night.’ The flag is flying now,” Jacobs says.
A commemorative ceremony has been planned for June 17 at 10:30 a.m. in the Rosalind Avenue Courtyard of the county’s administration building. The ceremony will be attended by Jacobs, local faith leaders, LGBTQ leaders and elected officials.
The original rainbow flag was designed by Baker in San Francisco in 1978 as a symbol of gay and lesbian pride in response to anti-gay activities.