O rganisers of Oxford Pride have expressed their anger at a vote by Abingdon Town Council not to fly a rainbow flag at the town hall, citing worries about how the town will be viewed if it does. The council met Rainbow_Abingdonrecently and voted 7 to 6 not to fly the flag, with one Councillor asking ‘what kind of message it would send to the town.’ Several members of the Oxford Pride committee live in Abingdon including Creative Director Spike Greenwood.  “Oxford Pride helps many LGBT+ people and their families in towns around Oxford.” He said.  “We believe flying the Rainbow Flag supports tolerance and acceptance and shows our towns as places of hope and modernity. For Abingdon Town Council to actively refuse the call to fly the flag, suggests there are those still in control who do not seem to want diversity and inclusivity to be part of our English towns. This is wrong. Abingdon IS diverse, IS tolerant, and IS welcoming – Oxford Pride believes it should be proud to fly the flag that shows these qualities”

The Chair, Secretary and Creative Director of Oxford Pride all live in Abingdon and the town has many LGBT+ individuals and families living there. The suggestion to fly the flag was to show the town is supportive and proud of the LGBT+ residents so naturally, the decision not to fly the flag has sent a very mixed message.”

Town council leader Mike Badcock said: “The council debated a motion that Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council fly a rainbow flag from County Hall in conjunction with Oxford Pride. After full and careful debate the motion was not adopted. The council has a long-standing policy on which flags it flies from the County Hall. These flags are the Union Flag, the Flag of St George (England), the Town Flag and, annually, the Commonwealth and the Armed Forces Day flags. In the event of a Royal visit, the appropriate royal standard is also flown. Whilst appreciating the arguments to fly the Rainbow Flag, the council was concerned that if the Rainbow Flag were to be flown this would be a clear precedent which would mean that the Council would come under pressure for other flags to be flown. The current policy is very clear.


A petition has now been set up calling for the decision to be over-turned. This can be found by clicking here.

Natalie has been an LGBT journalist for 12 years and joined the Fyne team in 2001. Her interests outside of work are cycling, running and badminton. She is also studying for a degree in psychology.

Comments are closed.

Improving the Much-loved Marlborough

For the past ten years, the Marlborough Pub & Theatre in Brighton has put on “work which is at the […]

Speaking Out: Gareth Thomas

The openly gay ex-rugby player  talks homophobia, bullying, and his upcoming Beauty and the Beast panto gig. Since retiring from […]

Adoption: “Life Does Change but Nothing is Missed”

Coram Adoption tell us about Paul and Mark, who adopted their son Stephen in 2013, as we mark National Adoption […]

Men’s Health and Movember: “An Everlasting Difference”

  The Movember Foundation tackles men’s health on a global scale, year round. Millions have joined the movement, raising over […]

HIV Diagnoses Fell by 17% Across the UK Last Year

As Fyne Times readers may know I was diagnosed with HIV in January 2010, when I was 24 years old. […]

Be a Better Trans Ally

If you aren’t trans yourself, it can sometimes feel like you are walking on eggshells when talking to a trans […]

“Fully Happy”

Gabriel Barnes talks political conflict, being transgender, and the Albert Kennedy Trust Gabriel Barnes fled South Africa aged 16, and […]

A Homotopian Rent Party

Sam Bennett During the 1920s Harlem Renaissance, poor African Americans – paid low wages yet asked for disproportionately high rent […]

“If I Sound Angry…”

Linda Bellos OBE talks racism, Thatcher and trans with Sam Bennett “My growing-up years were spent as a socialist and […]

“It’s not Black and White”

No Offence is a British Museum partnership touring exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act (1967) which […]