Rainbow '#ShootBack' Signs Appear Across West Hollywood
In the wake of the Orlando shootings, a rainbow-hued version of the Gadsden Flag with the hashtag "#shootback" has been cropping up around West Hollywood since Wednesday night, reports the L.A. Times.
The image has been plastered onto electrical boxes, light poles, and other fixtures near West Hollywood City Hall, Santa Monica Boulevard and the Abbey, a popular gay bar that may hire armed guards to beef up security in response to the Orlando attack. The image has also appeared in front of artist Chad Michael Morrisette's house, reports The Daily Wire. Morrisette, as you may remember, had put 50 mannequins on top of his roof to make a statement about the Orlando shooting.
Some are wary about the image's message. "We don't believe in an eye for an eye, and we advocate against gun violence," said West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister, according to the Times.
Capt. Holly Perez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department West Hollywood Station, who spotted one of the images during a jog on Wednesday night, was quoted as saying, "I understand the sentiment behind them and First Amendment rights, but it's a bad message."
A spokesperson for the West Hollywood Public Works Department said that the images are in the process of being removed.
Who's behind it all? We don't have confirmation yet, but we suspect the images may have something to do with Sabo, a street artist who's known for his right-wing images. One of his works, for instance, was of former Texas Senator Wendy Davis labeled as "abortion Barbie." The image was affixed to multiple sites across the city. It should also be noted that Sabo posted this up on Twitter today:
LAist reached out to Sabo and got these messages in return via email:
ALL I CAN SAY IS "JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE GAY DOESNT MEAN YOU HAVE TO BE A PUSSY." ;)
The Gadsden Flag, as U.S. history enthusiasts should know, was designed by American general Christopher Gadsden during the American Revolution. The flag—consisting of a coiled rattlesnake and the phrase "Don't thread on me" underneath—came to represent American resistance to British taxation. Rattlesnakes became a common part of American iconography thanks to Benjamin Franklin's "Join, or Die" illustration, in which a sliced-up snake is used to warn against the fragmentation of the States. In recent times, images of the Gadsden flag have been seen in everything, from the U.S. National Football Teams' memorabilia, to banners at Tea Party protests.