A group of drunken young men have been sighted and reported to the police for attempting to tear down a rainbow flag hung from a first floor room at Jesus college, before opening a ground floor window in an effort to steal a student’s laptop.
Huw Jones, owner of the flag in question, described the act of vandalism and attempted theft as “the most pathetic hate crime ever”, going on to say how the event acted as a “reminder of the discrimination and hate that queer people face across the world”. He has been flying the rainbow flag for around five months until most of the fabric was ripped away by vandals wielding bottles of alcohol and reportedly “saying horrible things”.
Unfortunately, it is not the first time such activities have taken place in central Oxford. Nearly a year ago, The Oxford Student reported rainbow flags being torn down at Corpus Christi by members of an all-male drinking society, the Abbotts. In this previous case, flags were stolen from the JCR and placed into a fridge, in a move described as “unpleasant” by the then JCR president.
Oxford has a high density of rainbow flags during February since this month has been designated “LGBT History Month”. Numerous colleges fly the flag which is a symbol of LGBT pride and the wider social movement, and several JCRs source and encourage students to buy their own flags to hang out of windows or in their rooms.