New Pride decal promotes equity, inclusion in Langford; incorporates Indigenous art

New Pride decal promotes equity, inclusion in Langford; incorporates Indigenous art
City of Langford
The City of Langford has unveiled a new decal to support equity and inclusion.

A new “I AM Langford” decal merging the Progress Pride flag with traditional Coast Salish art is helping bring a city campaign promoting diversity, equity and inclusion to life.

The decal is a visual tool for the local business community to create a welcoming space for all, says Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson. It features the Progress Pride flag colours, as well as a turtle drawn by an Indigenous artist, and can be placed on exterior windows.

“The City of Langford is proud to partner with local artist Jeannie Chipps and the Victoria Pride Society to celebrate Langford’s diversity,” said Goodmanson in a news release.

“The goal of the campaign is to create safe and inclusive spaces within the community and provide a visual tool to the business community to create a welcoming space for everyone.”

The city launched the campaign last week, saying it’s bolstering the “I AM Langford” initiative first launched in summer 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The updated decal design by Chipps, of the Sc’ianew First Nation, incorporates Coast Salish art and combines the traditional rainbow Pride flag with the transgender flag — the latter including colours to represent black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. The Victoria Pride Society was consulted on the design.

Chipps was thrilled to be a part of the project, saying in the release, “I see it as an incredible honour to be able to fill my design with the Pride colours.”

The artist sums it up as “a symbol of love.”

The campaign was announced less than a week after a new rainbow crosswalk celebrating 2SLGBTQIA+ people was vandalized twice in Langford. The crosswalk in front of Spencer Middle School was targeted twice shortly after it was unveiled on Feb. 13.

West Shore RCMP was investigating the vandalism, while Langford-Juan de Fuca MLA Ravi Parmar said he was “disturbed and saddened,” adding, “Hateful acts have no place here.”

READ MORE: New rainbow crosswalk in Langford vandalized twice in 24 hours

Yet Chipps says 2SLGBTQIA+ people remain resilient.

“Both the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and the Indigenous community have been through hard times and have proven to be resilient throughout whatever is placed in front of them, and I find so much joy because I am able to unite them,” the artist added.

Chipps recalled stories in Coast Salish culture about the turtle carrying the world on its back, adding that the continent of North America “is even often called Turtle Island!”

This helped inspire the design.

“Safety, longevity, and stability are also important symbolic attributes that are related to the turtle, which I thought are essential when building and maintaining a community like Langford,” added Chipps.

According to the city, the decals are being distributed to new commercial businesses through the business license system. It says free decals are also available at Langford City Hall for existing businesses to pick up with a copy of their active business license.

READ ALSO: ‘Really important’: Locals voice concerns about ‘lack’ of LGBTQ+ safe spaces in Victoria

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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