June is Pride Month! Although the LGBTQIA+ community should be celebrated all year long, June is the nationally recognized month to celebrate, empower, and learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community.
So, let’s learn more about the original Pride flag. If you’ve ever wanted to see the OG Pride flag it’s now on display at the San Francisco Museum.
Created in 1978, the flag cost $1,000 to make by artist and activist Gilbert Baker for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade of 1978. To make the flag, he used 1,000 yards of muslin, 10 pounds of natural dye, and 100 pounds of salt and ash.
In explaining why Baker chose a rainbow for the design, he spoke about an experience he had had in the 1970s right after Christmas one year. He talked about a celebration he had attended with his friends in the Winterland Ballroom, which is now a music venue in San Francisco. During the celebration, he said, “We were all in a swirl of color and light. It was like a rainbow.”
And boom, it hit him then. A rainbow. That’s what should represent the LGBTQIA+ community.
Baker then said, “A rainbow flag was a conscious choice, natural and necessary. The rainbow came from [the] earliest recorded history as a symbol of hope. In the Book of Genesis, it appeared as proof of a covenant between God and all living creatures.” Plus, he said, “It was also found in Chinese, Egyptian, and Native American history.”
The first Pride flag was then created, almost a decade after the Stonewall Uprising. This was where several trans women of color had led the beginning of a revolution against the anti-LGBTQIA+ system of oppression.
This original flag has been on a 43-year journey. It now lives on display at the GLBT Historical Society Museum in San Francisco.
Do you know which two colors Baker had to eliminate from the flag because they were too expensive?