Friday, June 09, 2017

Showing The Flag

When you see the Rainbow flag what do you think?

In Philadelphia they want to add two more colors to the flag to represent People of Color, they added black and brown.

PGN Exclusive: City's new rainbow flag to include black and brown stripes
Philadelphia Gay News
By Jeremy Rodriguez
June 7, 2017

Amber Hikes, the city's director of LGBT Affairs, said she teared up the first time she saw the new rainbow flag, which will be presented at City Hall Thursday. The new flag will expand on creator Gilbert Baker’s original design by including black and brown stripes to symbolize the LGBT community’s racial diversity.

“Seeing an image like this flag instills so much pride in me as a queer black woman,” Hikes said. “When I see the flag, I feel like I see myself.”

Tierney, a Philadelphia-based advertising agency, approached Hikes and the Office of LGBT Affairs with the new design.

Hikes said the extra stripes are “simple, but remarkable.”

“The new design is a symbolic representation of Philadelphia’s commitment to centering the experiences, contributions, activism and dedication of black and brown members of our community,” Hikes said. “To me, this flag says: ‘We see you. We honor you. We celebrate you. You’re not just a part of us. You are us.’”
Okay up front I am going to say the I am totally against the addition on of new colors. The colors of the Rainbow flag were chosen from the color spectrum of the rainbow, not because of race. Period.

The history of the rainbow flag goes back to 1978. Yes it was designed by probably an all-white group but I don't know that for sure and it was most likely just a lesbian and gay group with no trans or bi people in the group.
How did the rainbow flag become an LGBT symbol?
Ask History
By Thad Morgan
June 2, 2017

It’s not uncommon to see rainbow flags flying outside of homes and bars, pinned to shirts and on the back of bumpers—all with the universal and proud proclamation that #LoveIsLove. But who created the rainbow flag, and why did it become a symbol of the LGBT community?

The rainbow flag was created in 1978 by artist, designer, Vietnam War veteran and then-drag performer, Gilbert Baker. He was commissioned to create a flag by another gay icon, politician Harvey Milk, for San Francisco’s annual pride parade.

The decision to enlist Baker proved serendipitous, as the idea of a flag to represent the gay and lesbian community had occurred to him two years earlier. As Baker told the Museum of Modern Art during a 2015 interview, he had been inspired by the celebrations marking America’s bicentennial in 1976, noting that the constant display of stars and stripes made him realize the cultural need for a similar rallying sign for the gay community. And as a struggling drag performer who was accustomed to creating his own garments, he was well-equipped to sew the soon-to-be iconic symbol.
With the help of close to 30 volunteers working in the attic of the Gay Community Center in San Francisco, Baker was able to construct the first draft of the now world-renowned rainbow flag. It was first showcased at San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978.
And the meaning of the colors were assigned…
Hot pink: Sex
Red: Life
Orange: Healing
Yellow: Sunlight
Green: Nature
Turquoise: Magic/Art
Indigo: Serenity
Violet: Spirit
The original flag had eight colors and the current flag has six colors.

As you can see there is nothing about race in the colors.

Some argue that there are other versions of Rainbow flags in use. Such as a rainbow flags with a Lambda or a pink triangle or the transgender symbol on them but I say, how often do you see any of the many versions of them? I would say probably 99.9% of the rainbow flags that I see are the standard six color flags and when people think of the rainbow flag they think of the six color version.

If you want to call the flag a LGBT Unity flag or some other name I have no problem with that.

So what do you think?

Update: June 11, 2017 @ 12:45PM

You don't make inclusion by adding colors to a flag,  you make people feel inclusive by your actions.

My question to the Philadelphia Pride committee, did you have people of color, Latinos, and people from other marginalized community on our committee this year?

Update: June 10, 2017 @ 7:20AM

I also don’t like that the Tea Party stole the Marine’s Gadsden Flag and corrupted its great history.
The origins of the Gadsden flag, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps
By 1775, the snake symbol wasn't just being printed in newspapers. It was appearing all over the colonies: on uniform buttons, on paper money, and of course, on banners and flags.

The snake symbol morphed quite a bit during its rapid, widespread adoption. It wasn't cut up into pieces anymore. And it was usually shown as an American timber rattlesnake, not a generic serpent.

We don't know for certain where, when, or by whom the familiar coiled rattlesnake was first used with the warning "Don't Tread on Me."

We do know when it first entered the history books.
The Tea Party calls themselves patriots but in reality they are thieves who stole a piece of our history.

1 comment:

  1. When I read over this article I couldn't help but think about another Rainbow Flag from another time. We published this piece a few years back on furbirdsqueerly and wish to share it with you. The opening lines have this to say: "He carried a rainbow flag with a peasant’s boot on it. He sided with the peasants and with the working class. Convinced that God had willed the overthrow of the old society he promoted the establishment of a new egalitarian society which would practice the sharing of goods. Thomas Muntzer, (1489-1525) connected social revolution by the oppressed classes within his preaching of the gospel.  The rainbow flag with a peasants boot was used as the sign of a new era, hope and social change." To read the full article about these times of great social movements go to: