Stetson Law Celebrates Pride Month with Inaugural Flag Raising

Cheers went up in the Sebring Horseshoe courtyard on June 2, as students, faculty and staff at Stetson Law kicked off Pride Month 2021 and made school history with the inaugural raising of the Progress Pride Flag.

“This flag really represents Stetson’s commitment to not only its students, but the entire LGBTQ+ community as we continue to fight for our … just right to be alive,” said Edson Abadia Jr., a 3L and president of Stetson Lambda Legal Society, which organized the event.

The new Progress Pride Flag represents even greater inclusivity and the advancements the LGBTQ community has made in recent years. It features additional stripes of color: The white stripe is to remember people who have died from HIV; the pink and blue stripes represent the transgender community; and the black and grown stripes represent people of color and their efforts to move forward LGBTQ rights, Abadia explained.

Jen Rex, left, and Edson Abadia Jr. with the Progress Pride Flag.

The crowd was small to ensure it complied with Safer Stetson COVID-19 policies, but the joy and excitement were palpable as the sun shone and a breezed picked up, setting the flags flying.

“It’s actually the first time I’ve ever been a part of an institution that had a flag raising ceremony for the month of Pride, and so I think that speaks not only to my school, but also to our country and the progression that we’re making, and it means a lot,” said Jake Erdman, a 3L.

Jen Rex, a 3L and vice present of Lambda Legal, agreed the event was a significant milestone for the school that sent a powerful message to students.

“For me that’s really important because my identity as part of the LGBTQ community is one of the reasons I came to Stetson,” Rex said. “I knew that it’d be a very accepting place, and I want to work to help support that community and to do legal work in that field. So, I think that it’s really important to be somewhere that supports that and that I feel like I’m a part of the community here.”

The Progress Pride Flag will remain in the courtyard through the end of June as Stetson University College of Law honors and supports all members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

-Ashley McKnight-Taylor