Metro Weekly

160 Pride Flags Vandalized at Iconic Stonewall National Monument

For the second year in a row, dozens of Pride flags adorning the LGBTQ monument in New York were torn down.

Vandalized Pride flags at Stonewall Monument 2024 – Photos: Council Member Erik Bottcher, via Facebook

A spokesperson for the New York Police Department told NBC News that it appears the vandals climbed a fence to gain access to the monument. No arrests have been made.

This marks the second year in a row that the monument has been targeted during Pride Month.

Last year, almost to the date, vandals were caught on video, taken by surveillance cameras, strolling past the monument and snatching rainbow flags off the fence one by one.

Police asked for the public’s help in identifying the culprits, resulting in three arrests. The case was investigated by the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force as a possible bias-motivated crime.

Steven Love Menendez, the caretaker of the flag display at Christopher Park, called the most recent incident “disappointing,” having come less than two weeks after a new batch of flags were installed.

Menendez also told Gay City News there was no vandalism for the first six of the eight total years that the park has displayed Pride flags during June.

Menendez pointed to threats of violence directed against drag shows and attempts to cast LGBTQ people as “groomers” or dangers to children, as possible contributing factors.

“The last few years, the rhetoric has just gotten so hot — with the Republicans, the extreme right, creating all this hysteria,” Menendez said. “This is one of our most sacred landmarks to the movement of the LGBTQ community.”

New York City Councilmember Erik Bottcher, who is gay and who represents Greenwich Village on the Council, posted photos of the vandalism on his social media accounts. 

“Anyone who thinks this will intimidate or silence our community is badly mistaken,” Bottcher told NBC News. “Hateful acts like this merely strengthen our resolve.”

The vandalism was condemned by New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Attorney General Letitia James, the latter of whom encouraged anyone with information about the incident to contact law enforcement.

“This is disgusting. In New York, we stand for love and acceptance, not hate and bigotry,” James wrote on X.


“Hate has no place in our city, and nothing will change that,” Adams wrote in his own X post. “We love the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate them during Pride and all year round. We’ll always have your back, and we will bring whoever defaced the Stonewall monument to justice.”

The vandalism is one of several recent incidents targeting Pride flags and other symbols of the LGBTQ community. 

More than 200 Pride flags were recently stolen from a town center in Carlisle, Massachusetts, just prior to the start of Pride Month.

On June 1, fourteen Pride banners were slashed in Poulsbo, Washington.

Last week, a library in Oregon that hung up a Pride flag was shot at with a pellet gun, while an Alaska Drag Story Hour event for Pride Month was forced to relocate after someone called in a bomb threat against the library where it was to be held.

Earlier this month, the Colorado Republican Party sent out an email and social media posts urging supporters to burn all Pride flags, claiming that the flag symbolizes endorsement of sinful behavior and referring to LGBTQ people as “godless groomers.”

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