History of the Pride Rainbow Flag

Did you know?

The first rainbow flag was designed in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, a San Francisco artist, in response to calls by activists for a symbol for the pride community. Baker used the five-striped “Flag of the Race" as his inspiration, and designed a flag with eight stripes.These colours were intended to represent respectively: sexuality, life, healing, sun, nature, art, harmony, and spirit. Baker dyed and sewed the material for the first flag himself - reminiscent of Betsy Ross and the creation of the US Flag.

 

When Baker approached a company to mass-produce the flags, he found out that “hot pink" was not commercially available. The flag was then reduced to seven stripes. In November 1978, San Francisco's lesbian, gay and bisexual community was stunned when the city's first openly gay supervisor, Harvey Milk, was assassinated. Wanting to demonstrate the gay community's strength and solidarity in the aftermath of the tragedy, the Pride Committee decided to use Baker's flag.

 

The design has undergone several revisions. As of 2008, the most common variant consists of six strips, with the colour’s red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. The colour’s reflect the diversity of the LGBTQ community. The flag has become an international symbol of pride and the diversity our communities.

 

Did you know?

In addition to being the symbol of pride, the rainbow is a symbol of hope. Tremendous progress has been made in the fight for equal rights. Step by step, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people are obtaining recognition as equal members of society, in big cities and in towns and villages. By celebrating pride together, we remember out past, affirm our future and provide important visibility which advances struggles against equality.

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