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Council Considers Flag Project Celebrating Gay Pride

A request to place a huge "rainbow flag" atop a 65-foot pole in Hillcrest was rejected by the city's Planning Commission. Now the Council will consider the project.

The San Diego City Council is scheduled to vote tomorrow on a proposal to put a rainbow pride flag on a 65-foot pole along University Avenue in Hillcrest. The San Diego City Planning Commission recommended that the city deny the permit, though its reasons were unclear.

If the San Diego City Council votes in favor of the project, a 12 by 18 foot flag that has come to represent the LGBT community would fly high above the intersection of University Avenue and Normal Street in Hillcrest.

The Hillcrest Business Association is backing the privately funded plan.

Executive director Benjamin Nicholls said the flag is a symbol of tolerance, diversity and inclusion and reflects the character of the neighborhood.

"A lot of neighborhoods in San Diego have ways that they express their culture," Nicholls said. "You know down in Little Italy there's banners and little parks and murals, so this would be a similar symbol for Hillcrest."

But the flag will also serve a more practical purpose, he added.

"Once the project is done, it's going to become a destination for cultural tourists. The gay traveling community is quite large and often overlooked."

If the City Council votes to approve the permit, construction will begin in June, so the flag can be in place for this year's Pride Parade in July.

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