"I'm at city hall," Angela Pence says via text message. "By a guy with a 'Don't Tread on Me' flag." Even amid the vibrant scene along Main Street in Rome, Georgia, on Saturday morning, the modified Gadsden flag—a rainbow-colored one, but with the familiar coiled rattlesnake and slogan—stands out. Before crossing the street to meet Pence, however, I have to make way for a drag queen riding in the bed of a bright red pickup truck and fist-pumping along to a blaring Lady Gaga song. It's a message of defiance as subtle as the rainbow-colored Gadsden flag—particularly here, at the first-ever Pride parade in Rome, a city of about 37,000 nestled in the state's deeply conservative northwest corner.