Metro Weekly

Evan Glass to donate flag from first Montgomery County Pride Month celebration to historical society

Flag -- and the controversy surrounding it -- hailed as a symbol of a "significant milestone" in county history

Pride flag flying outside the Montgomery County Executive Office Building – Photo: Evan Glass, via Facebook.

Montgomery County Councilmember Evan Glass (D) will donate the flag that flew outside the county’s Executive Office Building to mark Montgomery County’s first-ever celebration of Pride Month to the Montgomery County Historical Society.

The flag in question was flown to celebrate a series of Pride events to recognize the county’s large and diverse LGBTQ community. When the flag was flown outside the Executive Office Building on June 10, 2019, there was outcry over it being flown in place of a veterans’ flag commemorating prisoners of war and people who went missing in action because the flagpole didn’t have enough ringlets to support flying more than one flag.

Even though the issue was resolved the next day, June 11, when additional ringlets were added, the story gained significant traction on, and was heavily touted on conservative media (often without mentioning that both the POW/MIA and Pride flags were being flown simultaneously), resulting in a backlash and a slew of hateful voicemails being left on Glass’s office answering machine. Some of those complaining also called for all Pride-related events in the county to be canceled.

Given the historical nature of the flag, and the story on the controversy behind it, Glass will donate the flag to the historical society at its annual conference on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Montgomery County Germantown Campus’ Bioscience Education Center.

“We live in a beautifully diverse community and the Pride flag is a symbol and reminder of the ongoing civil rights struggle for members of the LGBTQ+ community,” Glass said in a statement. “Today, more than ever, every resident of Montgomery County deserves to feel safe living their lives as they truly are. I am proud to donate this historic symbol so that years from now, residents of Montgomery County can reflect upon the progress we have made.”

“The Pride flag that flew over the County Office Building represents a significant milestone for the LGBTQ+ community in Montgomery County,” Matt Logan, the executive director of the Montgomery County Historical Society, said in a statement. “It is an icon that celebrates inclusivity and diversity, values espoused by the current County Council and County Executive.

“Councilmember Evan Glass’ election as the first openly gay councilmember further underscores the significance of this flag,” added Logan. “Montgomery History is adding it to our permanent artifact collection as it will enable future generation to understand the values and political climate of Montgomery County in the first quarter of the 21st century.”

The 14th annual Montgomery County History Conference will be held on Saturday, 25, at 8 a.m. at the Montgomery College Germantown Campus’ Bioscience Education Center, 20200 Observation Dr., Germantown, Md. For more information, visit www.montgomeryhistory.org.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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