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Every Color of the Rainbow


Each June we celebrate Pride Month, a time to honor and remember the amazing strength and resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community. Amidst the events, parades and parties, vibrant colors of the rainbow wave proudly igniting feelings of hope and unity.


But what is the meaning behind the rainbow?


Widely known as a symbol of Pride, the flag was originally created in 1978 by artist and activist, Gilbert Baker. He created the rainbow flag after being encouraged by his friend and fellow activist Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California. The original flag consisted of 8 colors: hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo and violet. Each color was chosen with different a symbolic meaning.

Throughout the years, the flag has had many variations. Today, there are at least 21 official LGBTQIA+ flags that represent different identities within the community.

It was said that Gilbert refused to apply for a trademark and the flag resides in public domain. According to close friend and fellow activist Cleve Jones, that is exactly what Gilbert wanted. “He purposely never copyrighted the flag because he wanted it to be owned by everyone.”


In the words of the Grateful Dead "wave that flag, wave it wide and high."


Wingspan Newsletter Volume 94

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