Introduction

LGBT Rainbow/Gay Pride Flag

Current LGBT Pride flag with 6 horizontal stripes: Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

LGBT Rainbow/Gay Pride Flag

Created by Gilbert Baker on 1978.

Original Design: Unveiled at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade 25 June 1978.

Current design: Unveiled at San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade 24 June 1979.

Definition

Gay:
” Someone, who can be transgender or cisgender, who is generally attracted or cisgenderattracted to someone of the same gender. “
– The Transgender Language Primer. See the full definition of gay.

LGBTQIA+
“An acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, [Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic/Agender,] and others. It refers to a population of people united by having gender identities or sexual orientations that differ from the heterosexual, [allosexual/alloromantic,] and cisgender majority. “
– Amended from The Transgender Language Primer. See unameded definition of LGBTQ+.

Style Guide

The current flag has 6 even horizontal stripes which are colored (top to bottom) red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

Meaning

On the current flag, the red stripe represents life, the orange stripe represents healing, the yellow stripe represents sunlight, the green stripe represents nature, the blue stripe represents serenity and the violet stripe represents spirit.

History

The LGBT Rainbow flag was originally the called the Gay Pride Flag when it was introduced in 1978. Harvey Milk was a friend of Baker’s and his message of the importance of visibility influenced Baker. [1] From the outset it was used to represent the whole community at the Gay Freedom Day Parade. The flags’s name and that festival’s name have both changed over time to explicitly include more queer communities. The Gay Freedom Day Parade became the International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade in 1981, and the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration in 1995. [2]

The original flag had eight stripes. [3] On the original flag, the hot hot pink stripe represented sex, the red stripe represented life, the orange stripe represented healing, the yellow stripe represented sunlight, the green stripe represented nature, the turquoise stripe represented magic/art, the Indigo stripe represented serenity, and the violet stripe represents spirit.

First gay Pride flag with 8 horizontal stripes: hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, and violet.
The first Gay Pride Flag

The pink stripe was dropped between 1978 and 1979 because they ran out of pink dye. [3] Parade organizers for the 1979 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. wanted to split the flag in two to decorate the parade rout, which necessitated revising the flag down to an even six stripes. [3] This is the flag we have today

About the Creator

“Born in Kansas in 1951, Gilbert Baker served in the US Army between 1970 and 1972.  He was stationed for most of his brief military stint in San Francisco – and at the time when the gay liberation movement first started in earnest. ” [3]

From 1979 to 1987 he worked for Paramount Flag Company designing flags. His life’s work became celebrating the LGBT Rainbow Flag and through new formats of the flag for events, fine art, and photography, interviews, speeches, and lectures. [3] He died 31 March 2017 at his home in New York City. He was 65. [4]

Sources

[1] MoMA Acquires the Rainbow Flag. (2015, June 17). Retrieved from MOMA.org.

[2] San Francisco Pride. (2019, January 15). Retrieved from Wikipedia.

[3] Unsung Heroes of the Gay World: Vexillographer Gilbert Baker. (2008, April 17). Retrieved from UKGayNews.org.uk via Archive.org.

[4] Gilbert Baker (1951 – 2017) Obituary. (2017). Retrieved from Legacy.com (The Telegraph).