Over the past few years, economic development nonprofit Discover Burien has installed 40 rainbow flags on light poles in downtown Burien in support of Pride Month. During the June festival in previous years, a couple of flags would be taken by “happy participants” celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, said Debra George, executive director of Discover Burien.
But Tuesday, the City of Burien discovered that 38 of the 40 flags had been stolen from downtown. The flags were believed to be stolen sometime between the weekend and Tuesday, said King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sergeant Ryan Abbott. Burien police are currently investigating the incident.
When word spread on social media about the stolen flags, George said Discover Burien received overwhelmingly positive responses from community members and businesses wanting to show their support. Health care company Kaiser Permanente donated a new set of flags that will be installed Friday, she added.
Burien’s fourth annual Pride festival will be postponed to ease the spread of COVID-19, but George said the city plans to feature a drive-in movie during the summer and to hold celebrations in the winter.
“We’re going to continue to do celebrations for Pride and not let the haters get us down,” George said.