Ithaca College Main Flagpole, near E Parking Lot

Ithaca LGBTQ History Walking Tour

Ithaca College Main Flagpole, near E Parking Lot

Ithaca, New York 14850, United States

Created By: Center for LGBT Education, Outreach & Services, Ithaca College


If you stand next to the Textor Ball and look north toward Cayuga Lake, you’ll see the main campus flag pole. In February 2001, the Pan African flag was raised on this flagpole in observance of Black History Month. Later that spring, the LGBTQ Pride flag was raised here in April. Just a few days later, the Pride flag was stolen. The LGBTQ student organization BiGayla rallied and replaced it. A BiGayla student leader said, "If it keeps coming down, we're going to keep putting it up." Less than a week later, the campus community was enmeshed in discussion about whether the college should use this flagpole to fly any flags other than the US flag, or as the Ithacan put it, "special interest flags."

Now look behind and to your right towards Campus Center to the second flagpole. After campus discussions about flying flags other than the American flag on the main campus flagpole, this second flagpole was erected in 2003 to provide the opportunity to fly flags representing communities, interests, and nations other than the US. For 5 consecutive years after this new flagpole was installed, the Pride flag was flown and stolen from this flagpole, too. Each time, a new Pride flag was raised immediately. Alumni donated their flags, and the LGBT Center made sure to have extra flags on hand as replacements. Each year, LGBTQ students organized shifts to keep vigil under the flag, day and night, to deter further theft or vandalism. They brought games, snacks, and sleeping bags to keep warm, and the LGBT Center director visited each night between midnight and 4 am with hot chocolate and to check on everyone. This was an annual tradition for several years during the early 2000s. The Pride Flag still flies every year on this flagpole, and the Transgender Pride flag was hoisted here for the first time in 2017.

The Pride Flag is the only flag that has ever been stolen from IC’s flagpoles.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Ithaca LGBTQ History Walking Tour


Leave a Comment



Download the App

Download the PocketSights Tour Guide mobile app to take this self-guided tour on your GPS-enabled mobile device.

iOS Tour Guide Android Tour Guide



Updates and Corrections

Please send change requests to