By Mike Kinney
Richmond Mayor Tom Butt joined a group of about a dozen people Monday in raising the Flag of Ukraine at City Hall to show solidarity with the nation that is enduring an invasion by Russia. Afterward, the mayor and other attendees marked the occasion with Ukrainian beer.
The event occurred two days after Mayor Butt sent a letter to Dmytro Kushneruk, the counsel general of Ukraine in San Francisco, to express support for Ukraine’s continued independence (see letter below).
“We stand with you in support of your democracy and the safety of your people,” the mayor said in the letter.
At today’s ceremony, the mayor added, “The City of Richmond has had a tradition of dealing with aggression from overseas. Our shipyards here played a critical role in winning World War II.”
Two Flags of Ukraine appeared at today’s ceremony. The first was made by Richmond resident Claudia Citroen, who the mayor called “a flagmaker extraordinaire.” The second flag was brought from the Ukrainian Consulate in San Francisco Sunday evening by Richmond resident Felix Hunziker.
Hunziker also brought an ice chest cooler filled with Ukrainian Obolon Lager beer for guests at today’s flag-raising. Hunziker said he was inspired by the bravery of the people of Ukraine.
“I was just so humbled by President Volodymr Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine, who are resisting and fighting back against the Russians,” he said.
The Ukrainian flag made by Citroen was gifted to Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia to fly on the County’s flag pole.