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The Rainbow (Gay Pride) Flag

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The Rainbow (Gay Pride) Flag © David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Pride Flag History:

The Rainbow (or Gay Pride) Flag was created by artist and vexillographer Gilbert Baker, a friend of the late Harvey Milk, in 1978. The flag debuted at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. It has since been used around the world as a symbol of LGBT unity in many variations, including adaptations such as bumper stickers and decals. The Rainbow Flag is recognized by the International Congress of Flag Makers. The Rainbow (Pride) Flag lives in the public domain.

Colors of the Rainbow Flag:

The original flag had eight stripes from top to bottom: pink (sexuality), red (life), orange (healing), yellow (sunlight), green (nature), turquoise (magic), indigo/blue (serenity), and violet (spirit). Within a year, the flag had shed two of its stripes—pink and violet. According to Gilbert, they "ran out of pink dye." The violet stripe was later taken out to create an even number of stripes on the flag.

Since, many variations of the flag have been created. For instance, a black stripe is added to some symbolizing those lost to AIDS. There are also variations to represent bisexual people, bears and others.

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