Legislators Won’t Be Able to Miss the Giant Pride Flag About to Be Painted at the Top of State Street, Next to the Capitol

LGBTQ Pride Street Flag Drawing

An artist rendering of a large, painted LGBTQ Progress Pride Flag to be painted at the top of State Street in Madison. The west wing of the state Capitol—to the right of the drawing—has a clear view all the way down State Street to the UW-Madison campus, to the left of the photo.

By Christina Lorey

June 9, 2022

Conservatives who control the state Assembly will have a bird’s eye view of support for equal treatment, respect, and rights for their LGBTQ constituents, in the privately-funded public art project.

This month, the pride flag is flying over the executive wing of the Capitol, but soon, it’ll be proudly, permanently displayed on the other end.

A massive, 23 x 30 foot Pride flag is set to be painted later this summer on the pavement just across from Madison’s Forward statue, in between Teddywedgers and Ian’s Pizza. The project, in development since 2019, was proposed by two city alders and postponed by the pandemic. Smaller communities across the country have integrated similar designs into crosswalks, but Madison’s will be among the biggest.

“Madison has an incredibly strong history of being at the forefront of LGBT movement. We are also an incredibly welcoming city,” said Karin Wolf, head of the Madison Arts Commission, the group behind the privately-funded, public art project.

“And this is a prominent corner,” she added. “State legislators will literally see it from their offices.”

Wolf believes now, with the city’s first openly-LGBTQ mayor in charge, is the perfect time to put something in stone… or at least paint it on concrete.

“The area around the Capitol Square becomes sort of a centerpoint for the state government meeting the city government,” Kia Karlen, Wolf’s counterpart at the Friends of Madison Arts Commission, agreed. She hopes the giant, rainbow flag will be a conversation starter not just in the community, but among consevative members of the state legislature. 

“Taking steps to make your community more inclusive doesn’t take anything away from the people who were already included,” Karlen said.

Madison’s Pride flag street painting is expected to be finished by August, when the city holds its Pride festival, but Wolf and Karlen first need to raise $30,000.

Click here to learn more about the project or donate to the Rainbow Crossings fund.


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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