Today marks a historical moment in U.S. history. USA Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage and proves that love indeed conquers all.
People all over the world join the celebration of equality by painting their day – and Facebook profile pictures – with the colors of the Rainbow Flag, the Pride colors.
Small and internationally recognized brands, celebrities, politicians, all showed their support by waving the vivid colors. I couldn’t wait to do so myself, for the matter is very close to my heart, and today it’s is filled with joy and triumph.
But who was behind the design of the flag that became the symbol of love, equality, unity, and prevalence?
Gilbert Baker designed and raised the first Rainbow Flag at San Francisco Pride on June 25, 1978, it had eight colors, each with a symbolic meaning: hot pink (sexuality), red (life), orange (healing), yellow (sunlight), green (nature), turquoise (magic/art), blue (serenity/harmony) and violet/purple (spirit). Since then 2 colors were dropped: hot pink and turquoise. But why?
When Baker turned to Paramount Flag Co, a flag company, to produce his design, Paramount informed him that hot pink fabric was not in high demand and therefore was not available for mass production. Baker decided to remove the sexuality stripe.
The turquoise color disappeared from the flag after the assassination of San Francisco’s openly-gay commissioner, Harvey Milk. To manifest the community’s solidarity in the aftermath of this tragedy, the San Francisco pride Committee elected Baker’s flag in honor of the slain Milk. The Turquoise stripe was eliminated for symmetry purposes, so that the colors could be divided evenly on the parade route, three colors on one side of the street, and three colors on the other side.
Nowadays, you can spot the original design here and there. You can even buy Gilbert’s original eight-color flag which he stitches by hand.
Even though I’m a big advocate of simplicity and symmetry, I miss the turquoise stripe along with its symbolic meaning. However, seeing today’s burst of rainbows in the streets and all over the web, something’s telling me that magic and art are still very well-represented not just by the LGBT community, but by people who love and support them as well. #LoveWins