Editor's note: #Boom Media has been a fiduciary sponsor of the St. Louis Balloon Brigade in the St. Louis Pride Parade for the past two years. We do not have artistic input in the implementation and design of the Brigade and were unaware that the Blue Lives Matter flag was being displayed by a member in charge of the float. Had we been aware, we would have voiced our opposition to flying a flag that many in our community find offensive and discriminatory.

As the co-creator/producer of the St. Louis Balloon Brigade I wish to apologize to the members of the community that I have offended. I approved a flag on our float in the Pride parade that has deeper meaning to some than I previously understood, I have been educated today.

We flew the Blue Lives Matter flag in honor of the lesbian daughter of one of our members. She came out relatively recently, and then became a police officer. When I was asked permission for this weeks ago I was only thinking of what a great show of love and respect for his family this was. There was absolutely no political motivation or activism intended by this display.

The individual members of the Brigade were not asked to vote on this, the majority of them were not even aware it was there because they were so busy and excited on parade morning. (I hadn't even remembered it was there until this morning.) I delegate out the construction of the float to a small group, but it was ultimately my original call that let the flag appear. I was wrong. I deeply regret that decision.

#Boom Media holds no responsibility in this matter; they are officially our sponsor, but have no creative input in the Brigade. Pride St. Louis is not a sponsor of the Brigade but they have always been greatly supportive of us. If I had the slightest thought this was going to be an issue I would have asked for their thoughts in advance. They would have not allowed it. PAWS and EFA have NOTHING to do with how the Brigade runs and are not present at any of our meetings except the one where we give them a big stack of cash.

The St. Louis Balloon Brigade will be declining the two parade awards we won this year, and we will be working hard to earn them back next year.

I apologize to the community at large, to Pride St. Louis, to Ellen Vanscoy (the parade director), to #Boom, to my husband Terry (co-creator/producer of the Brigade), to my float team who are getting the fallout from this, and lastly, to my Brigade members who did me PROUD this year. I made a stupid mistake. It pains me beyond belief that I have hurt the community for which I have worked so hard for so many years.



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