(LA Blade) A candidate for a seat on the Rockford, Michigan school board in this town of approximately 6,000, located ten miles north of Grand Rapids, went onto far-right social media platform Truth Social founded by former President Trump and shared a graphic collage of the Progress Pride flag converted into a Nazi-style swastika.
“Like my new Pride flag?” candidate Craig Ladyman captioned the now-deleted post.
Ladyman has a long and documented social media history of denigrating the LGBTQ+ community. In one post he depicted himself carrying an assault-style rifle with the caption; ” I like exercising my Liberty like a drag queen exercises their sexuality.”
Ladyman, who has a business executive profile on LinkedIn as an account executive for ArjoHuntleigh, a global medical technology company, lists himself as an ‘America First’ adherent and opposed emergency measures taken by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, shown in a social media post open carrying an assault-style rifle standing with anti-Whitmer protestors in May of 2020.
In another recent post Ladyman referred to LGBTQ equality rights and community history as “grooming.”
WXMI-TV FOX 17 in Grand Rapids noted that the Nazi Progress Pride Flag image was sharply criticized by members of the Jewish community, LGBTQ people, as well as local leaders, including Rockford Public Schools Superintendent Steven Matthews, who said that the image made him feel “angry.”
“It’s a symbol that I don’t think represents who we are as a community and anybody who would use it I don’t think represents who we are as a community,” Matthews told Fox 17.
Ladyman, whose political ad states that he “will never go along with unconstitutional mandates, medical tyranny or the woke agenda,” didn’t back down when asked to comment on the backlash.
“While I was hoping the outrage would encourage people to do their research into this flag, I would like to state for the record that this image was not created by me,” he said in a written statement to WXMI-TV, after declining to appear on an on-camera interview.
Ladyman — a self-described “pro-God, pro-country and pro-Constitution school board candidate [who] will continue to fight for excellent education in schools without this sexual indoctrination” — credited the image to the British actor and far-right activist Laurence Fox, who first tweeted the altered flag in June 2022.
SFGN and the Los Angeles Blade are media partners.