A video of San Francisco first responders saluting a “Progress Pride” flag while in uniform went viral on Thursday.
The SF Sheriff’s Office posted a video on social media of their third annual Pride flag-raising ceremony on Monday. This year, law enforcement chose to fly the Progress variation of the Pride flag.
Uniformed officers from the Sheriff, Police and Fire Departments are seen in the video solemnly saluting the LGBTQ flag after an officer raises it above a county jail. The text, “A call for unity, visibility, equality,” appears on-screen in front of a rainbow uniform patch. Another officer wears a rainbow hat.
A tweet from a conservative account that shared the video and described it as “disgusting” gained over 2 million views by Thursday, as replies poured in criticizing law enforcement for the political display.
Sheriff Paul M. Miyamoto told The Bay Area Reporter that they raised this version of the rainbow flag to reflect “the diversity and inclusivity of our community.”
Miyamoto called LGBTQ Pride one of the law enforcement department’s “core values.”
“Pride in our core values is not just to share what we do, or how we do it, but who we are,” Miyamoto said. “Let’s always remember we are representing our community and serving our community in all that we do.”
In the video, the law enforcement office explains how they fought to keep marching in the city’s annual Pride Parade while dressed in uniform.
San Francisco Pride parade organizers barred officers from wearing uniforms last year, saying that some in the community who’ve had negative experiences with law enforcement would be uncomfortable.
Parade organizers implemented the uniform ban in 2020 following a confrontation at the 2019 event when protesters blocked the parade while decrying the police and corporate sponsorship.