A GIANT rainbow flag has arrived on Guernsey for the island’s first gay pride event.
The 50m flag will be the centrepiece of the Channel Islands’ Pride’s opening day parade on Saturday 10 September.
It will be unfurled down the high street and held up as the parade makes it way down from Candie Gardens to Market Square for a celebratory party.
‘We have been so excited about the flag arriving,’ said Ellie Jones, vice-chairperson of Pride organisers, Liberate.
‘We’ve all been on tenterhooks waiting for it to get to the island. We loaned one from Exeter Pride for the inaugural CI Pride in Jersey last year and it was such a hit with everyone that we wanted our own.’
Made from nylon, the flag was specially produced in China.
The cost was close to £1,000 and was crowd-funded by just over 40 people.
Their names have been sown into the flag for prosperity.
‘We thought it would create a sense that the flag belonged to the LGBTQ community of the islands, their friends, family and supporters,’ said Miss Jones.
‘We also wanted a way to mark their contribution to what will become a central part of the CI Pride parades for many years to come. We thought it would be a great way to engage people to contribute in the first place.’
The weeklong Channels Islands Pride will see festivities and educational events from 10-17 September with the aim of engaging all members of both islands’ communities through comedy, music, films and talks.
The flag will also feature at the Grammar School Fun Run on Tuesday 13 September as part of their annual fun run around Footes Lane.
‘They are doing the fun run in multicolours to raise awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ students, and make sure that they know they are accepted at their school,’ said Ellie.
‘It is a great idea for them to do, especially with it falling just after the first ever Pride in Guernsey. When they told us we offered the flag to them to make it even more visual and fun.’
The flag will then go over to Jersey where it will feature in the Jersey leg of CI Pride Week.
Their parade is taking place on Saturday 17 September in St Helier.
The inaugural parade last year attracted more than 3,000 people of all ages and backgrounds.
‘We want it be become a bit of a symbolic gesture between Guernsey and Jersey for when we hand over the Pride ‘baton’,’ said Miss Jones.
‘We see it a little like a giant gay Olympic torch!’