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Why is the LGBT flag a Rainbow ?

Why is the LGBT flag a Rainbow ?

Why is the LGBT flag a Rainbow? It’s impossible to think of  Pride month  without imagining the iconic rainbow pride flag. We examine the  history of the Rainbow Pride  Flag and various aspects of the  meaning of the Pride Flag  .

The famous flag has become an enduring symbol of pride and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, non-binary, non-conforming and pansexual people. 

You probably know that the Pride flag is a rainbow, but did you know that the design of the flag has changed over the years and each color has a specific meaning ? 

The History of the Pride Flag

It’s not uncommon to see rainbow flags flying outside homes and bars, pinned to shirts and the backs of bumpers, all with the universal and proud proclamation that #LoveIsLove. But who created the rainbow flag and why did it become a symbol of the LGBT community?

The rainbow flag was created in 1978 by artist, designer, Vietnam War veteran and later drag performer, Gilbert Baker. He was commissioned to create a flag by fellow gay icon, politician Harvey Milk, for the annual San Francisco Pride Parade.

Why is the LGBT flag a Rainbow ?

The decision to enlist Baker proved fortuitous, as the idea for a flag to represent the gay and lesbian community had come to him two years earlier.

 As Baker told the Museum of Modern Art in a 2015 interview, he had been inspired by the celebrations marking America’s bicentennial in 1976, noting that the constant display of stars and stripes had left him realizes the cultural need for a similar rallying sign for the gay community. . And as a struggling drag performer accustomed to creating his own clothes, he was well equipped to sew the symbol that would soon become iconic.

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Why is the LGBT flag a Rainbow?

At the time, the most commonly used image for the nascent gay rights movement was the pink triangle, a symbol used by the Nazis to identify homosexuals. Using a symbol with such a dark and painful past was never an option for Baker. Instead, he chose to use a rainbow as inspiration.

to read also: Symbols of LGBT Flags LGBTQIA+.

The different colors of the flag were meant to represent unity, as LGBT people are of all races, ages, and genders, and rainbows are both natural and beautiful, but the original flag had eight colors, each with meaning different.

 At the top was hot pink, which stood for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony and finally violet at the bottom for spirit.

Why is the LGBT flag a Rainbow ?

With the help of nearly 30 volunteers working in the attic of the Gay Community Center in San Francisco, Baker was able to construct the first draft of the now world-famous rainbow flag. The first appearance during the Gay Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco on June 25, 1978.

Following the unveiling of the design, parade participants proudly held up the new symbol as a sign of solidarity. Baker takes the design to Paramount Flag Company, a version of the flag without hot pink or turquoise, replaced with blue for convenience, and has been sold. After the assassination of Harvey Milk on November 27, 1978, demand for the Rainbow Banner only increased. 

Another difference between these movements and the  LGBT  movement is that it had no precedent in the 19th century  . It was therefore necessary for gay and lesbian activists to choose a model for their new movement, and the recent success of black activists was instrumental.

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LGBT Rainbow Flag 90×150

Popularity rose again a decade later when a West Hollywood resident sued his landlord for the right to hang his flag outside his residence.

Gaining popularity in the following years The rainbow flag and is seen around the world as a positive representation of the LGBT community. 

A mile-long version of the flag was created to celebrate the 25th anniversaries of two landmark events; the Stonewall Riots and Baker’s creation of the flag himself.

Baker died on March 31, 2017, at the age of 65, just two years after same-sex marriage was legalized.

His legacy lives on in the six-color flag that flies proudly each month of Gay Pride, recognizing the lives, and loves, of LGBT people around the world.

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2 thoughts on “Why is the LGBT flag a Rainbow ?”

  1. Pingback: Lgbt flags for pride month 2023

  2. Pingback: Different LGBTQ flags and meaning

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