Prior to June 25, 1978, there had been no unifying symbol of Pride for the ever growing ever more visible LGBT Community. San Francisco city supervisor, Harvey Milk and Gay rights activist, Cleve Jones, approached Gilbert Baker about creating a potential symbol.
An honorably discharged army veteran, Gilbert Baker became an activist and vexillographer designing flags and banners for various causes around the world including anti-Vietnam protests. Impressed and inspired by the diversity of our Community, Baker suggested the flag be a rainbow.
“What I liked about the rainbow
is that it fits all of us.
It’s all the colors.
It represents all the genders.
It represents all the races.
It’s the rainbow of humanity.
– Gilbert Baker
And so work began on the first Pride Flag which originally had eight stripes in the rainbow, each with their own symbolic meaning.
The fuchsia and teal stripes were removed from the design, because at that time material in those colors was too cost prohibitive to mass produce in a flag. Thus the iconic six stripe flag was born. Baker’s rainbow flag was, is, and always will be a gift to the Community he loved and fought for tirelessly. He never copyrighted, trademarked, or earned any royalties from his most visible creation. It is quite simply, his gift from the heart to us.
Learn More at GilbertBaker.com
The original flag that first flew over UN Plaza 43 years ago was thought to have been lost forever after a flood. Miraculously part of it had been salvaged and was found just a few months ago and is now on display.
As our Community has continued to grow, diversify, and self-identify, under the Rainbow Flag individual communities have created their own flags, much like each of the fifty states have their own flags. The Harvey Milk Foundation has created this timeline honoring them.
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