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A Symbol of PRIDE: The Rainbow Flag

Often times when we think of PRIDE we automatically think of a Rainbow Flag.

But do you know what it actually means?

The Rainbow Flag was created in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, a San Francisco artist. It is said that he was urged by Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the US, to create a symbol for the gay community. Gilbert believed that a flag was the most powerful symbol of pride but little did he know this flag would be flown around the world as a symbol of hope and solidarity. The original flag consisted of 8 colours of stripe, each colour with its own meaning (hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit).

The flag was first flown on June 25, 1978, for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day parade. The first flag was sewn by hand but when they went to mass produce it there was a production issue and the pink and turquoise stripes were removed and indigo was replaced by basic blue, which resulted in the flag most recognized today. It wasn’t until 1994 though that the Rainbow Flag was established as a symbol for the LGBTQ community worldwide. 

Fun Fact: In 1994 Gilbert Baker made an almost 2 km long rainbow flag to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

"I've been embraced by a new community. That's what happens when you're finally honest about who you are; you find others like you."  ~ Chaz Bono