The first rainbow flag was created by Gilbert Baker, a prominent figure among gay political activists in San Francisco in the 1970s. Baker created the flag in 1978, at a time when there were few symbols available to represent LGBTQ communities. A man named Harvey Milk (Now famous politician) asked Baker to create a symbol for LGBTQ people that had a positive meaning behind it. In his campaigns for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Milk advocated that to make progress for gay rights, it was also necessary to advocate for Black rights, Mexican rights, Asian American rights and those of other marginalized groups. Milk and Baker wanted a symbol that represented everyone.Milk was the first openly gay person to win a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and was tragically assassinated during his first term.After the assassination of Milk later that year, the demand for the rainbow flag drastically increased; people were in desperate need of a symbol of hope.Baker envisioned the rainbow to be this symbol of power and hope.Baker’s vision for a widely recognized symbol of hope and power for LGBTQ people persists today.These pride flags continue to evolve as our values evolve, reflecting our present while honoring the significance of our past.
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