The Rainbow Flag- All colours working together to make something beautiful! On Saturday 7th July, the ladies from DragAdventures and myself went to London to experience and celebrate Pride. The parade was a wonder to behold and it was incredible to be part of such an amazing celebration of how far we’ve come. Every spectrum of the LGBT+ community and our straight allies all shoulder to shoulder Pride parade.
The crowd was a sea of Rainbow flags, one of the most widely recognised symbols of the LGBT+ movement. It got me thinking. How many people in the crowd know exactly what it stands for? So I decided to do some research into it. Are we sitting comfortably…then I’ll begin.
The first rainbow flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978 for the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Celebration. The flag is given its name by using the colours of the rainbow in horizontal stripes starting at red and going down to violet. It is designed to represent the diversity of gays and lesbians around the world.
The colours stand for:
The original flag had 8 stripes
But this was removed due to lack of fabric. The flag we see today consists of 6 coloured stripes and is the most popular version
Although the rainbow flag is the most recognised, over the years the LGBT+ community has adopted symbols/flags to show the allegiance to unity and pride. The other most well-known symbol is the Pink Triangle, which was used by the Nazis in World War II as a badge of shame.
It was originated in Nazi concentration camps and ALL male homosexuals were required to wear it on their clothing. Many of the 5,000-15,000 gay men and lesbian woman imprisoned in concentration camps died during the Holocaust.
The pink triangle was used exclusively for male prisoners. This was due to Paragraph 175, which made homosexual acts between men a crime. Lesbians were not included in this as at the time women were seen as subordinate to men and the Nazi state feared lesbians less than gay men.
Many Lesbians adopt the black triangle, as well as the pink triangle, which was used to mark ‘asocial’ behaviour, which was a label applied to woman who did not conform to the ideal Nazi image of a woman- cooking, cleaning, kitchen work, child raising, and passivity.
Although these symbols are widely recognised, it is understandable that some people don’t use them due to the retained negative connotations. The rainbow flag is more organic and has no negativity attached to it.
However you identify, please remember the history that went into paving the way for the rights and freedom we have and enjoy. LGBT+ rights have come a long way but there is still so much more to do. So educate people, be kind, be the best version of YOU that you can be, be Proud and be amazing. YOU MATTER!!!!!!
Written by Contributor Nathan Warren.