LIVINGSTON, NJ — Despite not being able to celebrate in person this year, the Township of Livingston still raised the Pride Flag in front of Livingston Town Hall on Thursday to commemorate the anniversary of the first time the flag was flown in the United States on June 25, 1978, in San Francisco.

After being raised to the tip of the pole, the flag was lowered to half-staff and will remain flying there for one week. The township explained that “no flag should fly higher than the American flag,” which is also currently flying at half staff to honor the victims of the nation’s current crises.  

“The flag is a symbol of justice and acceptance,” said Pastor Dan Martian, president of the Livingston Clergy Association and an active member of the Livingston Committee for Diversity and Inclusion (LCDI). “Let the work continue where every child of God will be accepted with dignity and respect.”

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In the absence of a formal ceremony LCDI member Jen Best led a virtual kid-friendly “story time” on the committee’s Facebook page, which can be viewed any time BY CLICKING HERE.  

Best became involved with LCDI through the Baden-Powell Service Association scout group, which is not affiliated with Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts of America. She explained that the group is the first of its kind in New Jersey and was formed in response to a boy who was asked to leave his scout group because he identified as transgender. 

LDCI chair Billy Fine, who was instrumental in Livingston becoming one of the first towns in New Jersey to fly the Pride Flag in 2016, was proud to help Jefferson Township host its first “Pride” ceremony this month. Several other New Jersey municipalities have also followed suit in recent years, including neighboring West Caldwell, which held its first Pride Flag raising ceremony earlier this week.