The rainbow flag has become one of the symbols of gay pride most easily recognized for the gay community . The multicultural symbolism of the rainbow is nothing new. The rainbow also plays an important role in many myths and stories related to issues of gender and sexuality in cultures such as Greek, African, Native American and many others.
The use of the rainbow flag by the gay community began in 1978 when it appeared in the gay and lesbian freedom day parade in San Francisco. Copying the symbolism of the hippie and civil rights movement of the black community, The artistan Gilbert Baker of San Francisco designed the rainbow flag in response to the need for a symbol that could be used year after year.
Baker and 30 volunteers built two flag prototypes for the parade. The flags had 8 lines, each color representing a component of the community: pink for sex, red for life, orange for health, yellow for the sun, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony and violet By the spirit.
The following year Baker approached a company to mass produce the rainbow banners for the 1979 parade. Due to production difficulties such as the fact that pink was not a commercially available color, pink and turquoise were removed from the design And the actual blue replaced the Indigo.
The 6-color version spread from San Francisco to other cities and soon became a widely known symbol of gay pride and diversity as it is today. It is even officially recognized by the international flagship congress. In 1994 a huge rainbow flag 10 meters wide and a mile long was loaded by 10,000 people at the Stonewall parade in New York.
The rainbow flag has inspired great variety of related symbols like freedom rings and other accessories. There are many variations of the flag including versions with a blue field of stars remembering stars of the American flag or versions with superimposed lambdas, pink triangles and other symbols. The flag of victory over AIDS modifies the rainbow flag by adding a black line at the end.
Suggested by a group in San Francisco, the black line would commemorate those who have been defeated by AIDS. Leonard Matlovich, a veteran veteran of AIDS-ridden Vietnam has proposed that eventually when a cure is found against AIDS, black lines must be removed from the flags and ceremonially burned in Washington.