Orlando remains united, and not just in grief

Two months after the massacre at a gay Orlando nightclub, residents say this city of newcomers is bonding in unprecedented solidarity, upending an old adage attributed to a former governor: “Florida isn’t so much a community as a crowd.”

Elements that often unite communities — sports teams, food culture, generations of residents living in the same neighborhood — are young or nonexistent in Orlando, where nearly two-thirds of all residents were born out of state. Many say Orlando’s modern existence dates back only 45 years, to Walt Disney World’s opening.

Now, the rainbow flag associated with gay pride seems to have become the Orlando area’s unofficial symbol. It sits beside an American flag and a Florida flag at City Hall. It’s emblazoned on stickers at hipster bars downtown and at boutiques and bistros on tony Park Avenue in the suburb Winter Park.

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