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Oxford college flies university’s “first-ever rainbow flag”

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  1. The flag is upside down. The convention is that the red bar is uppermost.

    1. Yes certainly is. Shame to fly ‘our’ flag upside down.

    2. I wonder If this was done on purpose…

      1. Jock S. Trap 15 Dec 2011, 9:14am

        Oh Gawd… read something into nothing much?

  2. Kind of makes me proud to have spent seven years at my beloved Wadham. Oh how I miss it.

  3. Great to see symbolic support from Wadham (and tacitly the wider collegiate family in Oxford)

  4. Although I support the endevours of Oxford in developing their queer week and raising the rainbow flag, I was just wondering why this is national news? Many Universities fly the rainbow flag during LGBT Awanress Weeks, LGBT History Month, IDAHO or Pride Events. Perhaps next time an article about the whole host of Universities which visibly support LGBT weeks would be an idea?

    1. As you say, it’s nothing new or unusual in most places. It is new here. I think it’s more an “even crusty old bastions of establishment conservatism are doing it, not just the people you’d expect to” line. Which is a bit silly given that Wadham is easily the most progressive, left-wing and liberal of all the Oxford colleges (not a great accolade admittedly, but we’ll take it). If the stuffed shirts and elderly arch-tories at Christ Church or Magdalen were letting students fly the rainbow flag then that would be international news…

      1. jamestoronto 23 Nov 2011, 2:09pm

        A small step that has been done already — but significant nonetheless. One more hurdle down is how I would look at it.

        1. Prouder then a failed ex-gay alcoholic who has the learning difficulties of a tomatoes. So, yes, yes it does.

          And what are you going to do about it? Oh, yes, nothing.

        2. jamestoronto 24 Nov 2011, 9:37am

          @ Will Ditto

      2. Its a bit silly to trying to define the most progressive Oxford college….I’d have guessed maybe St Catz, or Nuffield or Green even Keble might claim that acolade. Wadham and all the University are to congratulated on a sensible, quiet, dignified and tollerent attitude.

        1. “acolade … tollerent” .. haha. So much for a college education.

  5. Lord Botley 23 Nov 2011, 12:56pm

    Well done Wadham!
    I live in Oxford and had no idea about this. Lovely surprise.

  6. astounding and delightful…

  7. Michael Brooks 23 Nov 2011, 1:47pm


    I know that the flag is upside-down, but we didn’t want to waste time asking the porters to change it around again: even though it was upside-down, its message was still clear.

    I really hope that other Oxford colleges follow Wadham in this.


  8. So long as it annoys nutcases like Anglican Mainstream, then it is fine by me.

    1. Ironically enough Rowan Williams, the current Archbigot of Canterbury, did his doctorate at Wadham. Can’t get much more Anglican mainstream than him!

      1. I think that is a tad unfair. He is a very fine churchman. I disagree with him understating his once prominent pro homosexual viewpoint, however he is primate of a community of Christians who at one end would happily see homosexual couples marry and at the other end would see them imprisoned – even put to death.

        He has to perform the great balancing act of beng a reasoned man often among many unreasoned individuals.

        1. So he’s putting compromise before the promotion of equality. Apparently keeping the bigots on side and maintaining institutional coherency is more important than doing what he thinks is right. So far so religious…

          So yes, as a churchman he’s very fine indeed. As a moral human being somewhat lacking however…

          1. I can appreciate your viewpoint all too clearly. I myself often wonder why he is quiet on the subject of so much injustice – as he has spent a great of his life fighting against such injustice. He has done much for homosexuals within and without the Church.

            I do not agree with the sacrifice of his own views, for the sake of maintaining the whole of the communion, but he has done so for whatever reason he has. He is a man of strong morality and I admire him for that.

            I think to try to understand, is to delve into the Anglican tradition of via media. However I myself could never justify such a viewpoint myself, for it makes me feel as a Christian of said tradition implicit in the increasing evils of the homophobia ever prevalent in the world.

    2. “So long as it annoys nutcases like Anglican Mainstream, then it is fine by me.”

      Especially, the Evangelical Anglican College (Wycliffe Hall) attached to Oxford University.

      1. OH MY GOODNESS! I think St Stephens House just imploded among the confusion…

    3. Jock S. Trap 15 Dec 2011, 9:14am

      Here! Here! Adrian!!

  9. Absolute nonsense! I flew my skidmarked kecks from my upper floor window at Trinity decades ago and symbols don’t come musch queerer than that

    1. yes – I think I recall a biological warfare team being brought in

    2. Lord Botley 23 Nov 2011, 6:56pm

      Thank you for that image. I now have to face supper.

    3. Jock S. Trap 15 Dec 2011, 9:15am

      And who are you again?

  10. The flag sure stands out in Oxford! I noticed the flag last Friday and even made a picture of it, but did not realize then that it was a scoop. My post with the picture is here: (in Dutch).

    1. Amai! Leuk rapportage Sylvia x

      1. I mis read that at first as anal leakage …

        1. Jock S. Trap 15 Dec 2011, 9:16am

          Erm… ewwww!!

    2. Michael Brooks 24 Nov 2011, 12:22am

      Fantastic! Glad you noticed it.

  11. Long may it wave and be a beacon for love and freedom to love who one wants without having to hide and deny their love. The time if more than ever to come out of the closet and be who you really are an love one another, god commanded that we love one another and she never said who just love one another.

    1. God, you’re boring. Go away.

  12. MyLyricalDreams 24 Nov 2011, 2:20pm

    Though the flag is upside (which I personally found humorous rather than offensive), it’s good to see Oxford University taking a step forward and embracing tolerance. I hope the other colleges follow suit. As one of the best Universities in the world, it’s only fitting that it should embrace the 21st century.

    1. MyLyricalDreams 24 Nov 2011, 2:21pm

      *upside down

  13. I seem to recall a verse said to have been written after Wadham first insured itself:

    Well might the learned sons of Wadham
    Their House secure from fire and flame:
    They knew their sin the sin of Sodom –
    And feared their punishment the same.


    Hence, presumably, the flag being upside down: the traditional distress signal!

  14. I was privileged to visit Wadham during Queerweek and witness the effort which went into this event. As an Cambridge grad I never thought I would be singing the praise of an Oxford college :) but it was not just the flag, nor the pink lights in the gardens, it was primarily the atmosphere of the college – caring, considerate and informal. The physical environment was a little daunting for a wheelchair user, but the welcome I received more than made up for this.

    1. Michael Brooks 24 Nov 2011, 6:47pm

      Dear Jay,
      We will definitely improve the environment for wheelchair users! Once again, thanks for coming and leading such a great discussion.

  15. Has a college of the University of Cambridge ever raised the rainbow flag or is this an Oxford win?

  16. Jock S. Trap 15 Dec 2011, 9:13am

    A very welcoming site. Well done!!

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