At a very moving ceremony early on Wednesday morning, the Transformation & Diversity Prefects raised the Pride flag to mark the start of Pride Month, with Sive Sogoni leading the boys in singing the School Hymn and a number of boys contributing with readings and poems.
The new flag pole in Canterbury Gardens will be used to observe many different events throughout the year, including Black History Month, Heritage Day, Earth Day, Women’s Month, and the national days of countries from which our boys come.
We are a centre of learning and education that treasures academic freedom and it is important for us to listen, learn and understand what Pride Month is about, and to demonstrate the Anglican values that we hold dear.
It is instructive to remind ourselves from time to time of our school’s policy on Racism and other forms of Unfair Discrimination that starts with a statement of inclusivity:
“As an Anglican school, we recognize that we have a diverse group of staff and learners, and we embrace and value that diversity. We are cognisant and respectful of South Africa’s particular context, with its history of exclusion, legalised racial segregation and discrimination, and the continual effect this has had on all its citizens.
We believe that all people are created in the image of God and therefore should be treated with dignity and respect and we are duty bound to be inclusive and mindful of diversity in all our policies, programmes, classrooms, and interactions. We, therefore, affirm all people regardless of their race, colour, age, belief, religion, conscience, culture, language, nationality, disability, ethnic or social origin, birth, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, and socioeconomic status.”
Last week Mlibo Xotyeni, Head of Espin House, talked to the boys about making use of opportunities and everyone pulling together to make College even greater.
It is my deepest wish that this flag pole become an iconic symbol of reaching into the future and that we all work together to make College
a school of welcome and belonging
a school of wonder, learning and academic excellence
a school of opportunity
a school of pride and beauty
What school in the world could compare to that greatness?
Mr Aidan Smith
Today we raise the Pride Flag in our observance of Pride Month and in honour of the queer community for whom it is
celebrated. The rainbow symbolises the diversity within the community and is used as a symbol of hope for the future. Our
aim, in raising this flag, is to show our pride, solidarity and love for our queer Andreans and symbolises our commitment
as a school to educate our students on the plight of all marginalised groups and their human rights, as enshrined in our
– Words by Daniel Bradfield (June 2021)
Pride Flag Raising
As we gather on and around this island in front of Armstrong and Espin House, we stand together as the future of our school and its ongoing good and one-day great, legacy. One thing that ensures that we progress as a school, is the transformation, change, welcome diversity and the strive for and indeed the need for inclusivity of all members of our Andrean Community.
Pride Month is celebrated every June as a result of the Stonewall Riots of June in 1969, where people of all backgrounds and ethnicities protested for equal civil
rights and justice under the law for members of the LGBTQ Community in America. Since this event, many countries and schools worldwide have begun to commemorate this event and display continued support and allyship for those that are in the LGBTQ Community. But we must be reminded that queerness is certainly not exclusive to America or distant lands, but rather that queerness is found all over the world, in every town and every school, even amongst us in
the Andrean Community. It is for this very reason that we celebrate, stand in support of, and, in fact, look forward to moving forward with, members of the queer community as a school body.
Paying careful attention to the colours of the pride flag, we notice its rainbow-like appearance. This “Rainbow Flag” was designed in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, who gave each colour individual significance:
• Pink – for sexuality
• Red – for life and love
• Orange – for healing
• Yellow – for sunlight and new ideas
• Green – for nature and progressive growth
• Blue – for serenity and harmony
• Purple – for spirit and soul
With these ideas in mind, the flag was created and continues to be a symbol for allyship, encouragement and celebration of the LGBTQ Community.
So, when we raise this flag and the pledge is said, understand that this is a symbol not only for supporting and celebrating members of the queer community both past and present, but also a sign of anticipation as St Andrew’s College looks forward to achieving its great legacy vision with the help and support of the LGBTQ Community.