Neighbors line street with gay pride flags after couple's was stolen, replaced with American flag

Casey Handal and Zadette Rosado were on the receiving end of goodwill from their neighbors this holiday season.

The couple, who moved to Barrington, Ill. with their two daughters in May, had raised a rainbow flag, a symbol of gay pride, on a pole behind their home. But two weeks ago, someone snuck into their backyard, removed the flag and replaced it with an American flag.

“We were pretty devastated. … Who would do this? Why would they do it?” Handal told Chicago news station WGN-TV.

But instead of allowing the family to feel isolated, Handal and Rosado’s neighbors chose to stand up for them.

Though she didn’t really know the couple, neighbor Kim Filian ordered a rainbow flag as a pledge of solidarity. She kept ordering more, and soon various additional neighbors were asking to join in, placing the flags on their mailboxes and lawns.

“Frankly, I’ve grown weary of this, of all this hate,” Filian told WGN-TV. “And I got to say, it just seemed like there was one thing that I could do that I had control of.”

Now, the neighborhood is a sea of rainbow flags. For the family, the experience has proved to be an incredibly inspiring one. Gifts started showing up from neighbors, and people even began stopping by.

“We said, Look at all the nice people in the world. For every bad person, there’s 100 nice people, Handal said. “It was really a great lesson for [our kids], and for the whole neighborhood of kids, to see that there’s good in this world, and it always outweighs the bad.”

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