Pride flag banners vandalized in downtown Kent

One of the pride flag banners on the Main Street bridge shown vandalized.

Lorie Bednar

One of the pride flag banners on the Main Street bridge shown vandalized.

Alton Northup, Staff Reporter

Several pride flag banners hanging on the Main Street bridge in downtown Kent were found vandalized Thursday.

The banners were on display for just a week as part of Main Street Kent’s Rainbow Weekend, an annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. Seven of the nine pride flag banners that were installed on light poles were damaged, according to a police report filed by Main Street Kent. The banners appear to have been slashed in photos provided to KentWired.

The incident follows a previously unreported theft of three other pride flag banners from Acorn Alley earlier in the week, according to the police report.

An unnamed Main Street Kent volunteer discovered the vandalism Thursday morning and reported the damage to Lesley Sickle of Main Street Kent and Kent City Manager Dave Ruller.

Sickle, according to a timeline in the report, went to the location to take photographs and removed all of the banners, damaged and undamaged, before contacting the Kent Police Department.

Main Street Kent declined to comment on the incident when contacted by KentWired.

One of the pride flag banners on the Main Street bridge shown vandalized. (Lorie Bednar)

Ruller, whose office first contacted police, offered little elaboration on the city’s position in an email to KentWired, other than “obviously the city views this as a crime and I know the police department will do their best to find out who did this” and deferred to Main Street Kent for further comment.

There are currently no suspects, witnesses or surveillance footage at this time. Kent police could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.

Alton Northup is a staff reporter. Contact him at [email protected]