Greene says Carnival decoration was contractor’s blunder

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Festivals Minister EP Chet Greene said that the removal of rainbow coloured banners from the streets of St John’s over the weekend, was not in any way linked to a “homophobic reaction” but rather a blunder on the part of the person who was hired to decorate the city for Carnival 60.
“It was a most uncaring and most irresponsible act on his part to have both flags resembling another event. I want to apologise to all Antiguans and Barbudans who were offended by it and who have rightfully spoken out against it,” Greene said during an interview with OBSERVER media yesterday.
The rainbow-coloured banners were placed in several areas in St John’s.
However, the minister ordered that they were removed after concerns were raised by citizens who said that the design and colours have been used worldwide to represent gay pride.
Greene said the banners were reflecting something that had nothing to do with Antigua’s Carnival.
He said the contractor, who he did not name, was given specific instructions to order decorations consistent with the colours of the national flag and that of the Antigua & Barbuda Festivals Commission and those instructions were not followed.
“Instead a flag depicting another event celebrated in other places in the world was used and I am in full agreement with all who scoffed at it,” Greene said.
He said new decorations will soon be installed at the expense of the contractor.
This newspaper has since found out that the contractor was Paul Aflak.
Aflak refused to comment on the matter.

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