Not Flying the Flag

It is that time of year again. Every local authority and multinational corporation wishes to be seen waving the rainbow flag. Any failure to make a public show of support for the Pride movement will be deemed morally suspect by the enforcers of the Equality Brigade. Consequently, firms and businesses are hastily erecting their poles and hoisting the colours to demonstrate their impeccable loyalty. But oh no, what’s this? A council- Ockbrook and Borrowash Parish in Derbyshire- is not playing ball, and refusing to fly the flag this month. One upset resident said that it should be flown so "people feel safe to come to the village". Would a homosexual man or lesbian woman really arrive in Borrowash village and, realising no rainbow flag is fluttering, flee for their lives? Does the lack of flag suggest that a pitchfork-waving mob of homophobic heterosexuals might suddenly appear to drive out LGBT tourists? I suspect not. Using this logic, every English village must fly a green and white crescent moon flag each and every Eid to assure Muslims of the locale’s best wishes, and a Star of David each Hannukah to clarify the local population’s abhorrence of antisemitism. One independent councillor wailed: "We have to move forward and join the 21st Century and not the 19th, and make this right". He droned on about “recognising diversity and celebrating diversity". The BBC was delighted with the whole thing, considering it worthy of reporting. That’s right, it is now newsworthy that a council is not flying a flag: Anger as pride month flag snubbed by Derbyshire council again, the appalled headline raged. As Brendan O’Neill writes:

Pride in the 21st century is conformist, censorious and dull. It’s me, me, me. It demands validation rather than liberation, recognition rather than rights, conformism rather than choice. Pride has become a needy, therapeutic festival, a lonely crowd demanding constant approval in order to salve the psychic uncertainties citizens experience in the identitarian era.

Pride is not just an expression of freedom, it is an ideology. It is one to which the rich and powerful, otherwise known as big business and government, fully subscribe, and expect us to, also. I acknowledge that in a pluralistic, parliamentary democracy, lifestyles and choices will be sanctioned and tolerated which individual Christians may not endorse. That is natural, and to be expected. The same tolerance which extends to Muslims, atheists, LGBT campaigners and communists also applies to me. Yet this goes further. There is an expectation that we will all wear and promote the Pride colours. This is not freedom, but just another example of state-sponsored conformity.

Image by Filmbetrachter from Pixabay