A police report was filed on July 8 by First Parish Malden stating that their rainbow flag, displayed on the lawn in front of the church building on 2 Elm Street, had been vandalized.
The rainbow flag stands in support of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) pride and diversity. The flag was destroyed with multiple slits and a long slash through the fabric. Officials from First Parish state that the flag will be replaced by Saturday, July 9.
Stacey Gilchrist, board president for First Parish, states: “I know that many of us are feeling disoriented by what is going on in the United States right now. There are glaring instances of hate and injustice being reported on our televisions, our computers, our phones, our newspapers. For some of us, these injustices have been a life-long experience only now brought to the national consciousness.”
She continues: “Rehanging our flag is one very small way we can show our community that First Parish has hope. It lets Malden know that we see a future, and that we think these fights are still worth fighting. And if that flag is damaged, we will replace it. And we will replace the one after that. Because our hope goes on. We stand on the side of love.”