The colorful symbol of the community


It blows on every homobar and decorates our cars as stickers: Where does the rainbow flag actually come from?From Dirk JungThe rainbow flag is today internationally as a colorful symbol for gays and lesbians. Until 1978, the Pink Triangle was a hallmark of the Homo movement. Modeled on the National Socialist “Rosa Winkel”, it was more like repression. The activist Gilbert Baker countered this with the rainbow. In 1999, in an article in “SF Pride Magazine,” he wrote: “Some say Hitler designed him (the Pink Angle) to identify and stigmatize homosexuals just as the yellow Star of David was used against the Jews from the soul of our people, celebrating our differences and proclaiming our power and covenant with nature. “In the mid-1970s gays and lesbians no longer wanted to wait for power, they wanted to take it. Baker’s meeting with Harvey Milk, the openly gay city councilor in San Francisco, changed his life. He became an activist in the new gay movement and spent nights designing other protest banners for demonstrations. At the time, gay rights in the US were curtailed, and their reputation was clouded by various political campaigns. After 1977, the annual “Gay Freedom Day Parade” in San Francisco, 300,000 people united with the call to fight back, Baker went to the design of the rainbow flag. He wanted to create a common symbol., In 1978 he and his friends were the first to hoist their own colored and sewn flags. At that time they still showed eight colors: pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple. In the same order were the colors for sexuality, life, healing, sun, nature, art, harmony and the mind.The “Paramount Flag Company” made the flag, but had to do without a color, as the pink designed by Baker itself could not be produced industrially. Indigo Blue fell victim to the gay sense of symmetry: when Milk was shot in 1978, they wanted to demonstrate colorfully with the stripes of the flag at the parade in 1979. However, seven colors could not be distributed evenly on the two sides of Market Street. Since then, the flag exists as we know it today. It is recognized by the International Congress of Flag Makers.For the 25th anniversary of Stonewall in 1994, Baker created the world’s largest rainbow flag – a mile long, weighing about 3.5 tons and worn by the parade of several thousand people. Today there is a worldwide market for articles with the rainbow colors., Not to be confused is Baker’s flag with the Italian “pace flag”. This flag, usually also with the imprint “Peace”, shows seven color stripes, which are also arranged in a different order. The peace flag became known through the protests against the last Iraq war.In the gay scene there are two more banners besides the rainbow flag. The bear flag by Craig Byrnes dates back to 1995. With seven stripes in the colors of terrestrial bearskins and a paw, it stands for gay men who favor hairy and obese guys. The six-year-old leather and SM flag by Anthony deBlase has blue, black and white stripes with a red heart. The sign of love here symbolizes mutual respect and empathy. January 13, 2005


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