Long Beach will raise a flag in honor of Disability Pride and Empowerment Month next week to honor “our diversity, strength and support for all,” the mayor said in a statement.

The inaugural flag-raising ceremony will take place at 3:15 p.m. Monday, July 8, in Civic Center Plaza, 411 W. Ocean Blvd.

The City Council last summer passed a resolution recognizing July as Disability Pride and Empowerment Month, and in June leaders approved a recommendation to raise the Disability Pride flag for the month.

The recommendation was brought forward by Councilmember Mary Zendejas, who uses a wheelchair.

The Disability Pride flag is superimposed over a photo of Mary Zendejas as she’s sworn in as the city’s 1st District City Council member in 2019. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

She said in a statement the ceremony is a “historic milestone” that fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance.

The Disability Pride flag is relatively new. It was designed in 2019 by Ann Magill, a writer with cerebral palsy, according to the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center at Columbia University.

The five different colored stripes represent different segments of the disability community:

  • Red for physical disabilities
  • Gold for neurodiversity
  • White for invisible disabilities or those that haven’t been diagnosed
  • Blue for emotional and psychiatric disabilities including mental illness
  • Green for sensory disabilities such as deafness, blindness and processing disorder

The background of the flag is a faded black that represents, “mourning and rage for victims of ableist violence and abuse,” according to the Weinberg Family Center.

The public is invited to join the ceremony in person, or watch a livestream that will be broadcast on the city’s Facebook and X pages (@LongBeachCity) and on YouTube (@LongBeachCityCA).