A Hillcrest landmark that is supposed to signify unity, freedom, and beauty was marred by vandalism last week (Feb. 6).
Two plaques beneath the Pride Flag on University Avenue and Normal Street were scratched up and damaged with what looks like an object sharp enough to make deep gashes in the surface.
One plaque signifying the history of the flag has severe scratches embedded across the front specifically across a picture of the flag and over people’s faces.
An adjoining plate commemorating The San Diego LGBT Center also suffered damage with similar lacerations.
“I am horrified at this act of cowardice,” said Benjamin Nicholls, Executive Director of the Hillcrest Business Association. “I was one of the leaders of the effort to create this monument and I have fought to support the LGBT community in Hillcrest for over ten years. This horrible vandalism shows that we need to continue this work. The HBA is working to have the monument repaired.”
But local businesses are also on board to help. In fact, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News‘ publisher Hale Media along with Crest Cafe are joining forces to start a fundraiser in an effort to make sure nothing like this happens again.
People interested in helping the cause can make a $20 donation and Hale Media and Crest Cafe will match that with a $20 meal voucher to be used at the restaurant.
The proceeds will not only go into replacing the panels but also add protective acrylic overlays to thwart off future destruction.
This year will mark the seventh anniversary since the flag became a permanent fixture of pride above Hillcrest.
Back in July of 2012 attendees at the Spirit of Stonewall Rally watched as the rainbow colors made their inaugural flight after months of setbacks.
Initially, the Planning Commission was against the project and recommended the proposal stop short of being heard in front of the City Council which had the final voice in the debate.
Thankfully the City Council was on board and unanimously voted to move ahead with the monument and San Diego history was made.
Today the Hillcrest Business Association handles the raising of the Pride flag and other banners that share the flagpole to represent their space in the LGBT community.
The Hillcrest Pride flag follows the same protocol as the American flag when it comes to official positioning. And under special circumstances, the HBA can approve requests from the LGBT community.
To make a donation, click HERE; net proceeds to benefit the Hillcrest Pride Flag restoration project.