Friday, August 11, 2006

Saga of the Rainbow Flag: Block hurled through window of Kansas hotel

By Diane Silver

A red block carrying the message "fag" was thrown through the window of the Lakeway Hotel sometime before 5 this morning. A second block with the message "get the fuck out of town" was found outside of the building where it apparently bounced after failing to hit a window.

The messages were inked onto both blocks with what appears to be marker.

I just got off the phone (at 1:30 p.m. CST) with J.R. Knight one of the owners of the hotel, which has been in the news for flying a rainbow flag. J.R. and his wife Robin originally flew the flag as a celebration of summer and their 12-year-old son who bought if for them. However, some folks in the town of 1,600 have been upset because the flag is a symbol of gay rights. Earlier someone in town cut the flag off the pole.

J.R. told me that he was awakened around 5 a.m. by a sheriff's deputy who told him that one of the windows of his hotel had been broken. This is when the blocks and their threatening messages were discovered.

The threats come as the Lakeway prepares to host a meeting Sunday of the Southwest Kansas Chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition, the state's largest gay rights group.

"My wife is a wreck," J.R. told me. "I have some customers who are not happy and are crying. I'm just glad that my son is safe."

The Knight's 12-year-old is visiting his grandparents in California.

"I'm concerned that they might poison my dog so we keep him close," J.R. said. "It's hard. I miss my son a lot. Thank God he's not here."


Anonymous said...

I think he broke his own window, because the story about the flag was no longer in the news

Diane Silver said...

The police are taking the incident seriously, so is the Hutchinson News. Honestly, I wish that every report of such an incident were a lie, but there is no evidence that is the case here. Oh, and the flag has been in the news constantly via the national news, Hutchinson News, Wichita Eagle and through blogs.

orangecat5 said...

'Anonymous' is clearly an idiot.
I've only just been finding out about this saga, reading your blog.
I want to drive across the state and stay at the inn! What a couple of brave folks.