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The LGBTQ pride flag is now flying at the Orange County Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa.

The state-owned fairgrounds hoisted the rainbow banner for the first time Saturday. The flag — a symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities — will fly year-round at the property, including in front of the fairgrounds administration building, officials said.

“When you see a rainbow flag flying, the sense of safety that that gives you and the sense of welcomeness that that gives you — for a community that can otherwise be invisible — [it] is very, very important,” said Andreas Meyer, a member of the event center’s board of directors.

City officials in Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach have authorized displaying the rainbow flag at their respective city halls from Harvey Milk Day on May 22 through June, which is LGBT Pride Month.

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