What’s More Inclusive Than Welcome?

On July 14, 2023, as the prideful descended upon San Diego for the annual alphabet-letter parade the next day, I stopped with my wife to gawk at the fence, along Adams Ave. in University Heights, that is subject of the Featured Image.

The “Welcome” sign and homage to the “brave”, along with an American flag out of frame, stood starkly—proudly and patriotically—in contrast to the many rainbow flags we encountered nearby along Panorama Drive. (Say, why do these banners have six colors when the real deal in the sky is seven?)

There are other streets in the neighborhood where various lawn paraphernalia and signs stake out, often opposing, cultural values and political positions. You can feel the tension walking house to house. Yuck. American and rainbow flags are rarely seen together outside one home, but they face off property to property: Stakeholders, where multi-color wavers of inclusivity may regard the Stars and Stripes as symbol of exclusivity, or hate. Gosh, when did the American flag become so un-American?

Which returns to the subject of my surprise seeing cheerful, beckoning signs on a fence that seemed to be nothing more than a friendly expression that someone else might regard differently. So for those of you waving the flag of inclusivity, I have a question: What’s more inclusive than Welcome?

Think about it.

The photo comes from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 50, 1/640 sec, 70mm (film equivalent); 8:33 a.m. PDT. Tidbit: In January 2018, my “Cats of University Heights” series featured Token (real name) hanging out inside the gate.