A 25-year-old YouTuber called Elijah Daniel has bought the small town of Hell in Michigan and renamed it Gay Hell to protest US President Donald Trump’s ban on US embassies flying rainbow flags during Pride month.
Daniel said in a tweet, “Ahead of pride month Trump’s administration put a ban on embassy’s flying pride flags. so as of today, I am now the owner of Hell, Michigan.”
“I bought the whole town,” he said on Tuesday (June 18). “And my first act as owner, I have renamed my town to Gay Hell, MI. The only flags allowed to fly are pride.”
Daniel told NBC News that his flag rule is a joke, and there will not be a ban on other flags.
The gay YouTuber has over half a million YouTube subscribers.
“I have a young audience who is 16 to 24 who would not be involved in politics if it wasn’t in a funny or meme way,” Daniel said to NBC.
“I’m just trying to have fun and get my audience politically active,” he said.
The town is 15 miles from Ann Arbour and has a population of around 70 people.
Trump reportedly banned US embassies from flying rainbow flags during Pride month this year, despite it being a usual occurrence for US embassies in other countries to do so.
Vice President Mike Pence defended Trump’s decision and said he supported the president’s view that only US flags should fly on US embassies.
Rainbow flags had been permitted in previous years under Obama-era rules.
Pence also confirmed that at least four US embassies that had requested permission to fly the rainbow flag during Pride month have had their requests rejected.
US embassies have been coming up with creative solutions to the Pride-flag ban – US embassies in Tel Aviv in Israel, Oslo in Norway and Seoul in South Korea opted to hang rainbow flags from their facades to mark local Pride festivities, alongside a consulate in Chennai, India.
As the State Department’s directions only prohibit diplomatic missions from flying rainbow flags from flag poles, the actions aren’t technically in breach of the policy.
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