The Rainbow Flag symbolises hope, pride. It is a symbol of recognition. Hope that people live and let live; hope for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender; hope that all people are accepted by society.
“Equality comes from treating everybody the same regardless of who they are”, said Matt Bomer.
Fact 1: Gilbert Baker, an artist from San Francisco, designed the first Rainbow Flag in 1978 replacing the Nazi-used Pink Triangle. The first flag which was dyed, stitched and ironed by Baker and about thirty volunteers had eight stripes of different colours:
Hot pink for sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise blue for art, indigo for harmony and violet for spirit.
Fact 2: June 25, 1978 – the first Rainbow Flag was flown at the Gay Freedom Day Parade on the United Nations Plaza, San Francisco.
June 26, 2015 – the US Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage.
Fact 3: Demand for the Flag increased when Harvey Milk, San Francisco’s first gay elected leader, was assassinated in November, 1978. The hot pink had been dropped due to unavailability of the dye for that colour. The second version of the flag therefore had seven colours.
Fact 4: The current version has six stripes, after removing the turquoise blue as the colour was obliterated with indigo when hung vertically from lamp posts. This flag could now be split evenly and carried on the opposite sides of the Parade route.
Fact 5: The Rainbow Flag has been in two world records.
In 1994, a mile long Rainbow Flag marked the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. It was carried past the United Nations Building by 5000 people and was thirty feet wide.
On June 15, 2003, Gilbert Baker undertook project 25Rainbow Sea-to-Sea, made a Rainbow Flag that was 1.25 miles long, employed all the eight colours, and stretched across Key West, Florida from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf Coast Sea.
Fact 6: The Stonewall Riots in New York in 1969 is considered the first revolution for equal rights for the LGBT community. The Riot was the outcome of repeated assaults on gay clubs by the police. Demonstrations continued for several days demanding equal rights to homosexuals.
Fact 7: The lambda version of the Rainbow Flag was used in 1970, by the New York Gay Activists Alliance to signify their emerging organisation. The International Gay Rights Congress adopted the lambda in 1974 in Scotland.
Fact 8: In 1992, the Rainbow Flag given to the Clinton White House was silkscreens 22 x 35 oil on linen. It was hung in the West Wing Office Complex.
Fact 9: The Coral Sea Islands off the coast of Australia is a nation for the LGBT. They declared independence on June 14, 2004 seceding from Australia, and raised the Rainbow Flag.
Fact 10: There have been many variations of the Rainbow Flag across the world. Some of the variations are with a smiley, a double Mars symbol, a double Venus symbol, white stripes at the fly, triangle variations, victory over AIDS with black stripe, with labrys, with peace sign, repeated rainbow patterns, Leathermen flag with black stripe, with globe in the centre or top left corner, cowboy hat variation, a heart and crossed bones, two conjoined rainbow patterns and a heart/love rainbow flag.
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