Pride’s powerful icon is scalable

The origin of the Pride rainbow flag dates back to the late 1970s. Gilbert Baker, who had served in the military, moved to San Francisco after an honorable discharge and befriended Harvey Milk, a famous San Francisco elected official. Later introduced the concept of a symbol to embody the struggle for the rights of the gay community, commonly known as the gay community.

At the time, Baker was working for the Paramount Flag Company in San Francisco making custom flags and suggested that the symbol was a flag. “Harvey was very encouraging, but he more or less understood this idea of ​​a flag. He always came back with his idea for a logo,” recalled Gilbert Baker in a 2013 interview with Fugus. This is probably a professional misrepresentation on my part, but I believe that flags have more impact than logos. Flags represent power. They are necessary. And our community needed a flag, a symbol of collective pride. Being visible is a way of taking power. »

No copyright applies to the rainbow flag since, like any flag, it is in the public domain. And Gilbert added: “That’s why the flag is so powerful, because it belongs to everyone! Initially I played with the idea of ​​the pink triangle that was placed on us [homosexuel.le.s] by the Nazis in concentration camps. But quickly, I put this idea aside – very depressing – to move on to something more joyful and I thought of the rainbow”.

With the help of two friends (Lynn Segerblom and James McNamara, who balanced the dyeing process and sewed the flag, respectively), Baker created a rainbow version that had eight colors, to represent different spiritual and emotional aspects of the psyche. Both the pink stripe and a turquoise stripe are missing from the standard version of the flag for technical reasons (pink was consistently difficult to reproduce). For Baker, hot pink, before retirement, represents sex; Red signal life; Orange indicated healing; yellow signal sunlight; The nature of the green signal; Turquoise signifies magic and art; Blue (turquoise and blue later replaced by royal blue) indicates serenity; And purple represents the soul.

Although it was often referred to as the “gay pride flag” in its early days, the rainbow flag was quickly adopted by a community much larger than gay men and considered inclusive by gay, bisexual, trans or poly, asexual. or strange people. Furthermore, over the years, the words “gay” or “gay”, often used as an umbrella or catch-all term that is not gender-conforming, have gradually disappeared to make way for the expression “gay and lesbian”. Abbreviated LGBT, which alternately becomes LGBTQ or LGBTQ+… and more depending on the region of the world where an “i” or “2S” for intersex is sometimes added — at the beginning or end — to Two-Spirit. Includes an “A” concept for First Nations and allies

Even today, although the standard version is the most recognized worldwide, the rainbow-striped flag remains an evolved symbol. In addition, the original eight-color rainbow version created in 1978 is enjoying a resurgence, especially in large gatherings. And, increasingly, we see a version designed by Daniel Quasar, which adds a triangular chevron on one side, colors honoring the trans community as well as people of color. This version is commonly called the “Progressive Pride Flag” or the “Inclusive Pride Flag”. You can also see a modified version of this inclusion concept introduced in Philadelphia and Chicago, which puts the black and brown stripes on top before the red, but without the trans colors of powder blue, white and pink. and another, which bears 11 colored stripes, with the colors of the Trans flag at the bottom.

Pride flags of other communities

That said, groups within the queer community have also felt the need to strengthen their presence in particular. Gay, bisexual, transgender groups and even leather or latex followers have created symbols in the form of flags for their respective communities and over time they have become more widespread.

There are easily dozens of Pride flags, each slightly different, as the flags represent different gay communities. They are dynamic and flexible and new versions can appear when old ones break
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its flag bisexual pride Used for many years. It has a pink block at the top, a thin purple stripe, and then a blue block at the bottom. As schematically, pink represents same-sex attraction, blue represents cross-sex attraction, and thin purple stripes represent the span of the gender spectrum.

its flag Transgender community Created by Monica Helms, there are five horizontal bands: two light blue, two pink, and one white.

its flag Pansexual pride Composed of three stripes: pink (representing attraction to women), yellow (attraction to non-binary people), and blue (attraction to men).

its flag Polyamorous pride, less widely adopted, features a blue stripe (representational opening), a red stripe (emotion), and a black stripe (solidarity) with a gold-colored pie symbol (emotional attachment) in the middle. A variation of the poly flag turns the black stripe into a triangle and replaces the pi symbol with a yellow stripe.

its flag asexual prideCreated in 2010, it consists of four bands: one in black to represent asexuality, one in gray for demisexuality, another in white for allies and one in purple for community.

Other variations of the pride flag include: Gender fluidityof Skin community, the puppy where the bearof Polygamous prideof Gender Pride And A romantic And there’s even a flag ally pridewhich is rarely seen outside of Pride Marches and features a large rainbow triangle between the black and white stripes.

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Pride and company

Targeted advertising, merchandise and company logos in rainbow colors. Sometimes criticized, the “commercialization” surrounding the demands of the LGBTQ+ community has nonetheless helped advance the cause.

This phenomenon has been going on for several years already, but it seems to have intensified recently. Since the 1990s, private companies have begun to ally themselves with the LGBTQ+ community. At the same time, the concept of pinkwashing was born, which denounced the commercialization of campaigns against breast cancer. The label now sticks to certain companies accused of approaching the LGBTQ+ community for financial or social gain

Nevertheless, this long-standing relationship between business and community has benefited both parties. That said, it is from the moment when the company is not authentic in its approach that we can start talking about washing and this, of course, can harm the brands that abuse it. If a company plays the inclusivity card for the wrong reasons, in the long run, it risks paying the price, as we live in an increasingly transparent world.

That said, we must not demonize the motives of private companies, even if their business models are based on capitalism, because after all, there are some companies that have a misguided approach to their commitment to the LGBT community. If we look at the overall social impact, especially in terms of acceptance and normalization, if we look at the direct economic contribution of such initiatives, we encounter a fairly positive picture.

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