Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Story

The 12-year-old son of the owners of a bed and breakfast/restaurant gave his father a rainbow flag, which the son had purchased following a trip to Dorothy's house, a museum about the Wizard of Oz. The flag reminded the boy of "somewhere over the rainbow." The father proudly flew the rainbow flag beneath the American flag outside his bed and breakfast.

Some townspeople became angry with the bed and breakfast/restaurant owners. They believed the rainbow flag represented homosexuality. The local newspaper ran an article about the flag without talking to the owners about why they put up the flag. In fact, most townspeople didn’t even know what the flag meant until the article ran. Once word got around, the reaction was harsh.

The local radio station has threatened to remove the flag-flyer’s commercials if he does not remove the flag. A local minister told the owners it was equivalent to hanging women’s panties on a flag pole. When the owner jokingly said he might consider that – the preacher said he would have him arrested.

The bed and breakfast/restaurant business has suffered - down to only a few local customers. The townspeople who've boycotted say it's too offensive for them to eat there.

One local resident, Keith Klassen says the flag is a slap in the face to the conservative community. “To me it's just like running up a Nazi flag in a Jewish neighborhood. I can't walk into that establishment with that flag flying because to me that's saying that I support what the flag stands for and I don't," says Klassen.

The owner says the rainbow flag is not meant to be a gay pride symbol but he doesn't mind if that's how it's taken. He says he is determined to stand his ground. “When this rainbow flag shreds, I will buy another one, and another one, and another one - just like my American flag, I'll buy another one."

Where do you think this true story is set? The answer is below the fold.

If you guessed Meade, Kansas, located in southwest Kansas, you'd be correct. If you guessed somewhere in the Ozarks, you could also be correct.