Community responds after dozens of pride flags stolen in downtown Burien

A few dozen pride flags that have been waving up and down downtown Burien all month long were removed and stolen.

“One minute they were there, and the next morning they were not there,” said Sarah Toce, the Executive Assistant at Discover Burien. “I’m hoping it wasn’t a hate-filled action because there’s so much good in this community.”

The City of Burien released a statement that said the nonprofit Discover Burien installed the flags in support of Pride Month, a time when communities celebrate the dignity, equality and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer people and commemorate the Stonewall riots that began on June 28, 1969.

The Deputy Mayor Krystal Marx said, “To any of our LGBTQ community that does live in Burien or surrounding, you are still just as valid and seen and respected in Burien than ever. This doesn’t change that.”

Marx is also the Executive Director of Seattle Pride and said this final weekend of June will have opportunities to celebrate and learn more about the LGBTQ community.

The Gender Justice League, Pridefest and Seattle Pride are holding virtual programs all weekend long starting on Friday night. It’s called “Together for Pride.”

“Pride is not just a parade. Pride is what we feel and who we are and we’re excited to share more aspects of that,” said Marx. “Everything from queer films to activism, registering to vote, drag queens and drag kings helping you to learn why voting is important.”

In the meantime, the community responded with an outpouring of support after hearing about the incident.

New pride flags have been purchased through donations and volunteers will be installing them on Main Street this Friday.

“Just to show that we’re still here and we’re not going to back down,” said Toce.

Burien Police are investigating and surveillance video is being reviewed. Anyone who may have seen something is encouraged to call (206) 296-3311.