Gilbert Baker - The Rainbow Pride Flag or Pride Flag of the LGBT Community




The Rainbow flag or Pride flag of the LGBT community (also known as the gay pride flag) is a symbol of LGBT pride and LGBT social movements in use since the 1970s. The colors reflect the diversity of the LGBT community, and the flag is often used as a symbol of gay pride in LGBT rights marches. It originated in the United States, but is now used worldwide. Designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978, the design has undergone several revisions. As of 2008, the most common variant consists of six stripes, with the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The flag is commonly flown horizontally, with the red stripe on top, as the colors would appear in a natural rainbow.

The original gay-pride flag was hand-dyed by Gilbert Baker. It flew in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978. It has been suggested that Baker was inspired by Judy Garland's singing "Over The Rainbow". The flag consisted of eight stripes; Baker assigned specific meaning to each of the colors as follows:  hot pink: sexuality, red: life, orange: healing, yellow: sunlight, green: nature, turquoise: magic/art, indigo: serenity/harmony, violet: spirit.

Thirty volunteers hand-dyed and stitched the first two flags for the parade.

After the November 27, 1978 assassination of openly gay San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk, demand for the rainbow flag greatly increased. To meet demand, the Paramount Flag Company began selling a version of the flag using stock rainbow fabric consisting of seven stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, and violet. As Baker ramped up production of his version of the flag, he too dropped the hot pink stripe because of the unavailability of hot-pink fabric. Also, San Francisco-based Paramount Flag Co. began selling a surplus stock of Rainbow Girls flags from its Polk Street retail store, which at the time was San Francisco's main gay neighborhood.

In 1979 the flag was modified again. When hung vertically from the lamp posts of San Francisco's Market Street, the center stripe was obscured by the post itself. Changing the flag design to one with an even number of stripes was the easiest way to rectify this, so the turquoise stripe was dropped, which resulted in a six stripe version of the flag - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.