Orangetree 's Rainbow Flag Fright

Residents in Irvine neighborhood complain about "fag flag" flying over home

Immediately after Whalen's visit, however, the complaints became much more direct. Someone taped a press release by Westboro Baptist Church to the house's door that read, in part, "We've turned America over to the fags; [soldiers are] coming home in body bags." At approximately the same time, someone also placed a note that says, "God Hates Flags"—a play on Westboro's infamous "God Hates Fags" slogan—on Killian's car.

Not all feedback about the flag has been negative, however. When Pham briefly took the flag down in July to fix its mount, someone left another anonymous note at the house, this time urging Pham to put the flag back up. One side shows a picture of the flag drawn in colored pencil; the other contains the lyrics of Seattle hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Same Love," a pro-LGBT anthem that garnered wide radio play. The note concludes, "Please put your flag back up."

Today, the Pride Flag flies brighter and more securely than before. After reinforcing the mount, Pham put up a new flag because the former one had begun to fade. She hopes the attention she's getting can be used as a teaching moment. "We're going to be meeting with some people and attempting to start up a coalition," she says. "We're going to approach the city and try to raise awareness, to try to get a talk going.

Under Irvine's blue sky, let your pride flag fly
Dustin Ames
Under Irvine's blue sky, let your pride flag fly

"Everywhere else, people are aware of everything," Pham continues. "Now it's time to raise awareness here."

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