Skip to Content

What Is The Original Gilbert Baker Rainbow Pride Flag, And What Does It Stand For?

What Is The Original Gilbert Baker Rainbow Pride Flag, And What Does It Stand For?

While most of us are aware of the iconic rainbow flag, there are many more LGBTQ pride flags that symbolize the diverse sex, sexuality, attraction, and gender identities within our beautiful queer community.

Even while most LGBT people continue to identify with the LGBT rainbow flag, you might not be aware it is directly based on the Original Gilbert Baker Rainbow Pride Flag. While not so common, you can still see it flying at any number of pride celebrations throughout the world, from Cancun to Hong Kong to Berlin…or anywhere in between!

On June 25th, 1978, the first gay pride flags were flown at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Until this point, the pink triangle had been used as a symbol for the LGBT community – despite its relation to an exceptionally dark chapter in the history of homosexuality.

The flag was created by Gilbert Baker—an activist, drag queen, and artist—who described his rainbow-striped design as “something beautiful, something from us… it really fits our diversity in terms of race, gender, ages, all of those things.”

The same day during the parade, two pride banners replaced the United States and United Nations flags hoisted at the United Nations Plaza in San Fran, and the world saw the first LGBQ+ flags.

The different colors of this flag were often associated with “diversity” in the gay community (but actually have literal meanings), including:

  • Red for life.
  • Orange for healing.
  • Yellow for sunlight.
  • Green for nature.
  • Blue for harmony/peace.
  • Purple for spirit.
  • Pink for sexuality.
  • Turquoise for art/magic.

Pink and turquoise were removed for production purposes, and the six-band variant, now simply known as the “Gay pride” flag, has been the most well-recognized symbol of the LGBT movement since 1979. It has been built on for them at various times, including with the addition of black-and-brown for people of color in 2017 for the Philadelphia Pride Flag, and white-pink-blue for transgender and queer people in 2018 for the Pride Progress flag.

The original LGBTQ+ flag, a segment of the original Gilbert Baker rainbow flag, was recently rediscovered and donated to San Fransisco’s GLBT Historical Society Museum and Archives.

Original Gilbert Baker Rainbow Pride Flag
  Shop LGBTQ+ Pride Designs  
50 Fabulous Gay Gift Ideas To Share The Rainbow Spirit! (4)