Have a Gay Ole Time
The original Rainbow Pride flags flew at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade celebration on June 25, 1978, and served as a symbol of the LGBTQ community.
The flag was designed by Gilbert Baker who served in the US Army from 1970 to 1972. In 1974 Baker met Harvey Milk and influential gay leader and soon to be Mayor of San Francisco. Milk would challenge Baker to devise a symbol of pride for the community to replace the pink triangle, the symbol the Nazi’s used in concentration camps to identify homosexuals.
Baker claimed he was inspired by the Rolling Stones song “She’s a Rainbow’ and was likely influenced by the ‘Flag of the Races’ popular in the World Peace movement at the time. The original flag contained 8 colors: Hot pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Turquoise, Indigo and Violet representing; Sex, Life, Healing, Sunlight, Nature, Magic, Serenity, and Spirit respectively. The most common version of the Flag contains 6 colors.