The original gay-pride flag was hand-dyed by Gilbert Baker. It flew in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978. The flag consisted of eight stripes; Baker assigned specific meaning to each of the colors: hot pink: sexuality; red: life; orange: healing; yellow: sunlight green: nature; turquoise: magic/art; indigo/blue: serenity/harmony; violet: spirit.
After the November 27, 1978, assassination of openly gay San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk, demand for the rainbow flag greatly increased. As Baker ramped up production of his version of the flag, he dropped the hot pink stripe because of the unavailability of hot-pink fabric. In 1979 the flag was modified again. When hung vertically from
the lamp posts of San Francisco’s Market Street, the center stripe was obscured by the post itself. Changing the flag design to one with an even number of stripes was the easiest way to rectify this, so the turquoise stripe was dropped, which resulted in a six stripe version of the flag.
In 1988, the rainbow flag came to nationwide attention in the United States after John Stout sued his landlords
and won when they attempted to prohibit him from displaying the flag from his West Hollywood, California, apartment balcony.
It has been suggested that Baker was inspired by Judy Garland's singing Over the Rainbow.
The Pink Triangle, today used as a Gay Pride Symbol, was originally used to mark Gay male prisoners in Concentration Camps in World War II.
The American Gay Rights Movement: A Timeline
This timeline provides information about the gay rights movement in the United States from 1924 to the present: including the Stonewall riots; the contributions of Harvey Milk; the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy; the first civil unions; the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York; and more.
Go to International Policies on Same-Sex Marriage for an updated list on which countries have legalized gay marriage.
Information Please® Database, © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
A square box with thick pink horizontal lines, the mathematical symbol for equal, was offered for sharing [on social media forums such as Facebook or Twiiter] late March 2013 by the Human Rights Campaign as the US Supreme Court took up arguments in key gay rights cases.
The image is a makeover of the advocacy group’s logo, usually a blue background with bright yellow lines. The HRC made it available in red – for the color of love.
”It shows the enthusiasm and the passion,” said Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the nonprofit in Washington, DC.
Like the Pink Triangle, the Black Triangle originated in Concentration Camps in WWII. Individuals deemed "asocial" had to wear the Black Triangle. Many Black Triangle prisoners were either mentally disabled or mentally ill. The homeless were also included, as were alcoholics, the habitually "work-shy," prostitutes, and others (including draft dodgers and pacifists).
Lesbians have over time claimed the black triangle as a symbol of defiance against repression and discrimination. Though lesbian sex was not criminal under Paragraph 175, lesbians were regarded as asocial for their failure to adhere to the Aryan ideal of womanhood, a wife dedicated to "Kinder, Küche, und Kirche" ("children, kitchen, and church")