• Gilbert Baker is the "inventor" of the gay flag. Also known as the rainbow flag or the gay pride flag, the original version Baker conceived of then built with volunteers for the 1978 gay parade had eight stripes - pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, and violet. Today, the six-color version of the rainbow flag (pink and turqoise were dropped) is recognized all over the world as a symbol of gay pride. As a side note, Now, with a $3,000 donation from San Francisco's Castro Street Fair, Baker has remade the 20- by 30-foot flag, which now flies over the Castro in his original eight-color design. However, not everyone is pleased. Some believe the new flag is confusing; others say it's just plain wrong. But Baker thinks it's fabulous. "The fuchsia is lovely and very gay, and I find the turquoise quite magical," he told SF Weekly. "They don't call me the gay Betsy Ross for nothing." (The Advocate, 6-20-2000)
  • It evolved during the 1960s civil rights acitivism where the rainbow intially stood as a symbol of freedom for most oppressed groups. However, it did not intially include gay and lesbian groups. The shift to representing gay pride happend in the late 1960s after the Stonewall Rebellion.
  • When I was growing up the pink triangle was the gay symbol (and is still used in Europe). Because it harks back to Nazi concentration camps however, many people feel it has too many negative connotations, and now prefer the rainbow flag.
  • I'm sorry, but what exactly was the answer to the question? How did the rainbow come to represent gay pride? All I see is who designed it, etc.. No one voted on it.. It just was..
  • The rainbow flag has become the easily recognized colors of pride for the gay community. The multicultural symbolism of the rainbow is nothing new -- Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition also embraces the rainbow as a symbol of that political movement. The rainbow also plays a part in many myths and stories related to gender and sexuality issues in Greek, Native American, African, and other cultures. Use of the rainbow flag by the gay community began in 1978 when it first appeared in the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. Borrowing symbolism from the hippie movement and black civil rights groups, San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag in response to a need for a symbol that could be used year after year. Baker and thirty volunteers hand stitched and hand dyed two huge prototype flags for the parade. The flags had eight stripes, each color representing a component of the community: hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit. The next year Baker approached San Francisco Paramount Flag Company to mass-produce rainbow flags for the 1979 parade. Due to production constraints -- such as the fact that hot pink was not a commercially available color -- pink and turquoise were removed from the design, and royal blue replaced indigo. This six color version spread from San Francisco to other cities, and soon became the widely known symbol of gay pride and diversity it is today. It is even officially recognized by the International Congress of Flag Makers. In 1994, a huge 30-foot-wide by one-mile-long rainbow flag was carried by 10,000 people in New York's Stonewall 25 Parade.

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