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CT Checkup: Pride flag becomes permanent fixture, powerful ‘message of acceptance and inclusion’ in West Hartford

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WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — West Hartford’s commitment to the LGBTQ community has been made into a permanent community fixture just in time for the end of LGBTQ Pride month. 

The Quasar Progress Pride Flag was painted in the center of Isham Road in the town’s Blue Back Square. It now serves as a rainbow crosswalk that sends a powerful message. 

“It sends a message of acceptance and inclusion, it sends the message of celebrating the whole diversity of people, it sends the message that this is a place where you can be yourself,” said George Chien, a Hartford resident and gay activist who came to the square specifically to see the flag. 

The project comes in response to the cancellation of the town’s first LGBTQ Pride celebration. 

West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor is excited that this will now be a permanent community fixture. 

“I hope it gives people a sense of freedom, comfort, inclusion and peace. and love is love,” she said. 

And this isn’t your typical pride flag–in addition to the classic rainbow stripes, it features new colors to be even more inclusive. 

“The black and brown represent communities of color which is something that our nation has engaged in a very belated but important discussion on where we go from here,” said Cantor. 

This updated flag also features pink, white and light blue stripes to represent the transgender community. 

West Hartford Artist Brian Colbath was chosen by the town to paint the flag by the West Hartford Art League last weekend. It’s a ten-hour project he says was well worth it. 

“It’s the power of the image,” he said of his work. “There’s no words in it, it’s just the image yet that is enough.” 

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