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Political Gumbo: Fly the Flags Together

Published on Monday, June 10, 2024 | 6:04 am

The City celebrated its 138th birthday on Sunday. 

On June 19, 1886 Pasadena became the second City in LA County to incorporate, largely as a measure to rid the city of  saloons. 

That incorporation marked the beginning of its transformation from a small agricultural colony to a renowned destination known for its mild climate, affluent residents, and artistic influences.

Years earlier also on June 19, this time June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the slaves there were free.


Many abolitionists came to the Pasadena/Altadena area, including John Brown’s son Owen and Ellen Garrison Clark.

Yes there are events planned across the City. 

But quite frankly they are not enough. 

Pasadena is now more than the Crown of the Valley. 

The City continues to stand for freedom and equality as evidenced by the Pride Flag currently flying at City Hall as a symbol that the LGBTQ+ community need not fear persecution and enjoys all rights granted under the Constitution.


Simply put, our rights are fragile.

Like the Pride Flag, the Juneteenth Flag is a symbol of freedom.

And Pasadena has long honored the plight of the oppressed who struggled to overcome intolerance.

No, the City has not always started on the right side of history. the Brookside Plunge and the Pasadena Improvement Association come to mind.

But it gets there.

The plaque at Mills Alley has been corrected to recognize the horrors faced by Chinese citizens whose businesses were burned down, the City also has a memorial honoring the lives lost in the Armenian Genocide and the installation at the Parson’s Project remembers the displacement locals residents faced during the proposed extension of the 710 Freeway.

Ongoing discussions are being held about the damage caused by the Pasadena Improvement Association and the City has honored Dr. Edna Griffin who led the fight to desegregate the City’s municipal pool.  

Yes, in its 138 years, the City has typically found its way.

The resolution on reproductive rights, the call for a peace in the Middle East and the push to address climate change.

But that’s not enough.  

We have a responsibility to remind the next generation that all men are free and deserve tolerance from birth.

Nobody should have to wait for generals on horseback to bring the news. 

Pride, Pasadena and Juneteenth. 

Fly the flags together.

Tell everybody. 

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