The steps at Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms Park will be turned into a giant LGBTQ Pride flag this month in celebration of WorldPride.
Dubbed “New York City’s largest Pride flag,” the 12-foot-by-100-foot staircase will look like the rainbow flag between June 14 and 30, the park’s conservancy said. It will officially be unveiled at an event on June 15 called “Ascend with Pride.”
The Four Freedoms Park commemorates President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s eighth State of the Union on Jan. 6, 1941, in which he spoke about four “essential human freedoms”: the freedom of speech and expression, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want and the freedom from fear. The staircase leads up to a lawn lined with trees that guide visitors to a memorial at the end of the island with a statue of FDR’s head and the quote about the freedoms.
“Part of the park’s mission in celebrating the Four Freedoms is to educate and inspire current and future generations to define those freedoms for themselves,” said Julia Ireland, the great-granddaughter of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and a member of the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy’s board of directors. “WorldPride and LGBTQ rights felt like a natural event and movement for the park to support.”
The Four Freedoms became the basis for the Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1948 when Eleanor Roosevelt was the head of the UN Commission on Human Rights.
Aligning “the visual of the massive Pride flag” to the Roosevelts “will feel like a real demonstration of support and a very hopeful symbol for the LGBTQ community,” Ireland said.
The “Ascend with Pride” event on June 15 will include food trucks, a Drag Queens Story Hour from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and a partnership with VideoOut, which records people sharing their coming-out stories.
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. About 4.5 million people are expected to come to the city throughout June for Pride celebrations.