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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Rainbow Flag Turns 35 Today


The flag, a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride and the LGBT rights movement, has been in use since its debut at San Francisco Pride on June 25, 1978, and was designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker.

The different colors symbolize diversity in the gay community, and the flag is used predominantly at gay pride events and in gay villages worldwide in various forms. Originally created with eight colors, pink and turquoise were removed for production purposes and as of 1979, the pride flag consists of six colored stripes.

It is most commonly flown with the red stripe on top, as the colors appear in a natural rainbow. Aside from the symbolism of a diverse LGBT community, the colors were selected to symbolize: red (life), orange (healing), yellow (sunlight), green (nature), blue (harmony), and purple/violet (spirit).

The removed colors stood for sexuality (pink) and art/magic (turquoise).

The rainbow flag has found widespread application on all manner of products including jewelry, clothing and other personal items and the rainbow flag colors are routinely used as a show of LGBT identity and solidarity.


Many people out there don't even recognize it, but to the queer community, it represents a great importance. There is also Stonewall. The bear near the bottom of my blog is a called 'Stoney', after the Stonewall Inn Riots in New York. My best friend brought it back from San Francisco for me. (I took a picture of it).


My Rainbow Bear, 'Stoney'


In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a dingy, Mafia-run "private club" on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village with a predominantly gay clientele. The event is still a hot topic of debate in gay circles, with much disagreement about what actually precipitated the violence and who took part in it.

One legend holds that Judy Garland's funeral, held June 27, 1969, in Manhattan, fanned the flames of gay rage. Other versions of the story claim that dozens of sequined drag queens and a mysterious, unidentified butch lesbian were at the forefront of the street rebellion. But a few facts seem certain.


The Inverted Pink Triangle - a symbol stolen back from the Holocaust, by the GLBT


The inverted Pink triangle is also a symbol for the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-gendered). The inverted pink triangle (rosa Winkel) was a symbol used by the Nazis during the Holocaust to identify male homosexual prisoners.

It was often larger than the other identifying triangles so as to allow homosexuals to be avoided and singled out at a distance. Between 10,000 and 600,000 gay men and women died in the Holocaust. In the 1970s, gay liberation groups resurrected the pink triangle as a popular symbol for the gay rights movement.

Not only is the symbol easily recognized, but it draws attention to oppression and persecution -- then and now. Today, for many the pink triangle represents pride, solidarity, and a promise to never allow another Holocaust to happen again.

Click here to Follow The Rainbow
Click above to find the reasons behind the rainbow colours.

*Picture of the hunk holding the flag is a piece of art from Steve Walker

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