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How the Rainbow became the symbol of gay pride?

Rainbow, Symbol of Gay Pride

Since the 1970s, the Symbol of Gay Pride has been a universally recognized symbol for LGBT.

The origins of the symbol of gay pride

The rainbow is the most widely recognized LGBT symbol in the world.

The first LGBT rainbow flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978.

It immediately became a symbol of LGBT pride. The original design had eight, not six colors, each with its own meaning. 

how did that flag become a symbol of LGBTQ pride?

It goes back to 1978, when the artist Gilbert Baker, an openly gay man and a drag queen, designed the first rainbow flag. Baker revealed that he was urged to create a symbol of pride for the gay community. Baker decided to make that symbol a flag because he saw flags as the most powerful symbol of pride. He says, “Our job as gay people was to come out, to be visible, to live in the truth, as I say, to get out of the lie. A flag really fit that mission, because that’s a way of proclaiming your visibility or saying, ‘This is who I am!’” Baker saw the Rainbow as a Symbol of Gay Pride as a natural flag from the sky, so he adopted eight colors for the stripes, each color 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).

how did the flag evolve?

Rainbow longest gay flag

The first versions of the rainbow flag were shown on June 25, 1978, for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day parade. Baker and a team of volunteers had created them by hand, and later he wanted to mass-produce the flag for consumption by all. However, because of production issues, the pink and turquoise stripes were removed and indigo was replaced by basic blue, which resulted in the contemporary six-striped flag (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet). Today this is the most common version of the Rainbow Symbol of Gay Pride flag, with the red stripe on top, as in a natural rainbow. The various colors came to reflect both the immense diversity and the unity of the LGBTQ community.

It is only in 1994 that the rainbow flag was truly reknown as the symbol for LGBTQ pride. That same year, Baker made a mile-long version for the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The rainbow flag is now an international symbol for LGBTQ pride and can be seen flying proudly, during both the promising times and the difficult ones, all around the world.


June is LGBT pride month in the United States, so you may be seeing rainbows everywhere as Rainbow Symbol of Gay Pride.

It completely astounded me that people just got it, in an instant like a bolt of lightning — that this was their flag.