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Rob Ford wants rainbow flag removed from Toronto's city hall

Many Canadian cities are flying a rainbow flag to support LGBT athletes in Sochi at the Winter Games, but Rob Ford said a Canadian flag would be better.

Rainbow flag sochi russia 02 07 14Enlarge
An activist holds up a rainbow flag as people demonstrate outside the Russian embassy in Rome against recent anti-gay legislation ahead of the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi on February 7, 2014. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Rob Ford doesn’t care what other mayors are doing in other Canadian cities.

He wants Toronto City Hall to fly a Canadian flag, not the rainbow flag symbolizing the LGBT community, during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The embattled mayor told reporters on Friday he wants the Maple Leaf to fly to support Canadian Olympians competing in Russia.

When reminded the rainbow flag is flying across many Canadian cities as a small protest against Russia's strict “gay propaganda” laws, Ford balked.

“Let Russia do what they want,” Ford said Friday outside his offices. “We’re Canadians here.”

He said the move is about “being patriotic to your country” not about “someone’s sexual preference.”

More from GlobalPost: Russia spends $19 million per Olympic athlete to stage Sochi

The Canadian Press reported Ford has previously taken heat for skipping Toronto’s wildly popular, pioneering gay pride parade.

Toronto’s deputy mayor said he hopes Ford — stripped of many powers after admitting he smoked crack “in a drunken stupor” — will change his mind.

“There's no antagonism between the two flags,” Norm Kelly told CBC News. “Cities right across the country are doing this. This is an expression of ‘Canadianism.’”

Ford’s council members don’t agree with him, either.

“What we want to do is send a message of solidarity, support, to LGBT athletes not just from Canada but around the world who are descending in Russia,” Kristyn Wong-Tam said, according to The Toronto Sun.

Ford, who put a Canadian flag inside his office window, was to meet with council member Anthony Perruzza about the issue.

Perruzza hoped to negotiate a compromise.

More from GlobalPost: Pussy Riot renews call for Sochi Olympic boycott 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/canada/140207/rob-ford-wants-rainbow-flag-removed-toronto-city-hall