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Pride flags stolen and burned in Fort McMurray, Alberta

Thieves caught on video; RCMP investigating

Revellers at Fort McMurray's first Pride celebration, where rainbow flags were burned. Credit: Courtesy of Dawn Booth

Two rainbow flags were stolen and burned at a gay pride celebration Saturday in Fort McMurray, Alberta, the Edmonton Journal reports.

More than 100 people were celebrating the city’s first large-scale Pride event at Bailey’s Pub when the two flags quietly went missing. The thieves took the flags to the parking lot and burned them.

A security video shows that security guards approached the individuals who burned the flags and asked them to leave the property. The video has been turned over to RMCP.

“I can’t say why they did it and I can’t say if it was hate fuelled,” organizer Sheldon Parsons told the Journal. “But it’s hurtful to see something like that.”

Organizer Michael Kenny says security-camera footage clearly shows the people who stole the flags, and RCMP are investigating the burnings.

“It’s not just burning a piece of fabric,” Kenny told Fort McMurray Today. “It’s a symbol. And destroying it in that fashion is something I see as a hate crime.”