‘If You Burn One Down, We’re Putting 100 Up’: How a Hudson Family Responded to the Burning of a Pride Flag

When one Pride flag was destroyed by arson, an Ohio family and their local community decided to replace it with quite a few more.

click to enlarge Pride in the CLE 2023 - Emanuel Wallace
Pride in the CLE 2023

Police in Hudson have confirmed that they are investigating the burning of a rainbow Pride flag at a resident’s home earlier this June. One of the first to share the story was Ohio representative Casey Weinstein, who represents this northeast Ohio area.

Hudson Mayor Jeffrey Anzevino and Hudson City Council released a statement condemning the act.

“The burning of this pride flag is a direct attack on our values and on our community. We will continue to work to create a safe and welcoming environment for all residents, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

Amidst the statements from local officials, one local family decided to take action.

As one Pride flag was no more, they decided to replace it with a few more. Community response quickly turned “a few more” into hundreds.

The Buckeye Flame had the opportunity to chat with Hudson resident Jordan about what her family set out to achieve.

First, tell us about Hudson. For people who have never visited Hudson, what do you tell them about the community?

Jordan: I may not be the best candidate. We’ve been here since 2021, so not very long, and a chunk of that was spent in the wake of COVID. But Hudson is, in my experience, quaint and sweet. Hudson has an amazing history of what I would consider social progress and activism, beginning with the Underground Railroad. It’s not well represented by this recent [Pride flag burning], but it is a nice city in a sweet town otherwise.

How did you hear about the burning of this flag in Hudson?

Like most people, I heard the buzz around town and certainly saw [Rep. Weinstein’s] post.

What was your first reaction?

Not great, right? I live with my wife and my very young toddler in Hudson. So I think there were a lot of reactions. It was sad. It was angering. We were upset by it.

And that level of emotion turned into action. What did you and your family decide to do?

My deeply kind and understanding wife was asleep on the sofa when I did this. She’s been very forgiving. She discovered it [the next] morning when she woke up and both of our Facebooks had exploded.

I had posted in a local “Buy Nothing” group initially asking if anyone had a flag. We weren’t actually a family who was flying one prior to this. I said, “Does anybody have one?”

No one commented within a few minutes. And then I think the more frustrated I got, the more angry I got. I edited the post to say, I think, verbatim, “I’ve changed my mind. This is now a gift. I will buy a flag or I will procure a flag for anybody in Hudson who will hang one in the next couple of weeks.” Comment here if you want one.

What was the response?

I ordered, I think, like 10 or 15 flags on Amazon, went to bed and kind of thought, “Okay, that’ll do it.” And then by the next morning, it had at least like hundreds of likes and considerably more than 10 or 15 flag requests.

And then I had a lot of messages from people like offering to help or donate or [messages like] “have you considered other groups or sort of different ways of organizing that as a project or as a response?”

Not that this is your therapy appointment, but how did this all make you feel?

In full transparency, a little conflicted, right? I think on one hand, the town has come together. I’m getting a lot of gratitude. I’m getting a lot of support. A lot of people have offered to help. A lot of flags are, I think, ostensibly going to be hung in response to this.

I like the message that, “If you burn one down, we’re putting 100 up.” I think that that is is meaningful and powerful.

The most important messages to me have been the ones like the private messages from especially young people who I think [the flag burning] made it a little bit less conceivable that you could have a happy, healthy, functioning family in the community in Hudson. And we think this shifted something there. So there’s been a lot of gratitude around that. And it has a very feel good story tone to it right now for sure, which I think is good and it’s positive.

Are there ways that our readers can support your efforts? Other than sending you appreciative energy, which we are all going to do now.

Jordan: I think that what I, what I would appreciate and what I would like from anyone is that you do something. Like, when something happens, I think even small gestures are better than nothing.

Originally published by The Buckeye Flame. Republished here with permission.
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