Oakland-Scranton flag honors Harris, Biden
(19 Jan 2021) FOR CLEAN VERSION SEE STORY NUMBER: 4306884
The hometowns of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have created an Oakland-Scranton flag in a gesture to commemorate their inauguration as U.S. president and vice president and to call for national unity after a divisive election.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Oakland artist Favianna Rodriguez, who designed the flag with Scranton artist Ryan Hnat, hoisted the flag amid strong winds on Tuesday morning, a day before the presidential inauguration in Washington.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was born in Oakland in 1964 and grew up in neighboring Berkeley. She started her legal career as a prosecutor in Alameda County before she served as San Francisco district attorney, California attorney general and U.S. Senator representing California.
The flag is also flying at City Hall in Scranton, where President-Elect Joe Biden grew up. Scranton City Hall is closed Tuesday and Wednesday out of an “abundance of caution” amid threats of violence in U.S. cities, city officials said.
Schaaf said she and Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti “cooked up the idea” over a late-night phone call while celebrating election results.
“We send a loud message to all the children of our cities and every city, town and rural area in America that you can grow up to be anything. You can fulfill your wildest dreams,” Schaaf said before hosting the flag over City Hall.
The unity flag features a pair of hands, one dark and one light, reaching out across an image of a red United States with a blue background.
“The hands in the center really represent both of our cities coming together. It’s an invitation to imagine a better future, to work toward justice, towards equity, towards healing, towards recovery,” said Rodriquez.
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