The History of the Pride Flag

Written by: Carla De Guzman/Friday, Jun 08, 2018 02:11 PM

In San Francisco’s Castro City, you know you’re in an LGBT-friendly area the moment you step into the street. Pedestrian lanes are decorated in different rainbow stripe colours, rainbow flags fly from every balcony. 

But it’s in Castro City where the Pride Flag has its deep roots. Designed in 1978 by a local artist named Gilbert Baker, the rainbow flag was commissioned by Harvey Milk as the emblem of the queer community. It was first waved at the San Francisco Pride Parade in 1978—at the time still with hot pink, turquoise and indigo instead of the now dark blue. 

San Francisco's colorful Castro City

From then on, the rainbow flag has always been the pinnacle of the queer community. Waving the flag means a show of pride, love and support, and proudly proclaiming Harvey Milk and Gilbert Baker’s vision for a better future of their fellow man (and woman)!

In designing the flag, Baker found inspiration from world history—the stripes on the flag came from the stripes on the American flag, a symbol of their secession from England and of revolution. Baker wanted the gay nation to “proclaim it’s own idea of power” with the stripes. 

And as with any flag, each of the six stripes and each color has its own meaning. Red was the color of life, Orange for healing, Yellow for sunlight, Blue for harmony and purple for spirit. 

Over the years, more and more flags are being designed as the symbols of specific aspects of the gay community. But there will always be a special place in our hearts for Baker’s original design. Make sure you add Catro city to your travel brucket list--we promise, you won't regret it. 


About Carla De Guzman
Carla de Guzman is the author of self-published books Cities, Marry Me Charlotte B! and We Go Together. She loves to travel, coming home to her dog Kimchi and spending her weekends having dinner with her crazy family by day. By night, she’s writer and an artist, spending her midnights at her desk. Follow her on Instagram (@somemidnights) for more!
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