By Lucy Ashton
LGBT Rainbow Flags have been raised at both the Faslane base and Royal Naval Armament Depot (RNAD) Coulport to mark Pride Week.
The Flags were flown from the mainmasts at both Clyde sites from morning Colours at 8 o’clock until evening Sunset and both will be flown until Sunday 27 June to mark Pride Week.
Military and civilian personnel gathered at both sites to witness the events, with representatives from Diversity and Inclusion organisations including the HMNB Clyde Equality Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Pride in Babcock and the Royal Navy Compass Network.
The HMNB Clyde Equality Diversity & Inclusion Committee meets every quarter at Clyde and includes members from various departments across the Base including Ministry of Defence, the Royal Navy and Babcock.
The aim of the group is to ensure that the workplace at Clyde is an environment which allows each individual an equal opportunity to realise their potential and to ensure that it is a community which everyone is proud to belong to and feel part of.
Kerry Brabender, Business Department People Team and the Chair of the committee, said: “I’m delighted that we are able to fly the Rainbow Flag at both sites again this year.
“It’s important that the Clyde Community come together to celebrate Pride, to show support to the LGBTQ+ community and champion the inclusion of all staff ensuring that we create a workplace where all staff feel supported to bring their true selves to work”.
The original gay pride flag, which was devised by Gilbert Baker, who served in the US Army, first flew at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978. The first design of the flag had eight stripes with a specific meaning assigned to each of the colours.
The flags which are flown today have six colours which represent: red for life, orange for healing, green for nature, indigo for serenity and finally violet representing spirit.
Babcock’s Fleet Operations Director at the Naval Base and Board Sponsor for Diversity and Inclusion, Hamish Flowler, said: “I’m delighted to be present today as the Pride Flag is hoisted above Faslane. Supporting diversity in the workplace is a priority for Babcock. Having the opportunity to join the flag raising today, as a member of the HMNB Clyde Community, is a great way for us to re-affirm our goal to become a more diverse company.”
The Royal Navy Compass Network is the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Network of the Naval Service and it aims to provide an inclusive Naval Service in which people feel comfortable, valued and empowered to be themselves and express their sexual orientation and gender identity, realise their career potential and contribute fully to the Service.
Royal Navy personnel, Babcock staff, MOD Civilian Staff, MOD Police salute as the Rainbow Flag is at raised at HM Naval Base Clyde.