Gilbert Baker (1951 – 2017), was an artist, designer, and LGBTQ+ rights activist. In the late 1970s, he found himself at the forefront of the LGBTQ+ liberation movement in San Francisco. Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California, challenged Gilbert Baker to design a symbol for the LGBTQ+ community. Baker thus embarked on an ambitious project to craft a flag that would embody the movement’s spirit and aspirations.
On June 25, 1978, the vibrant Rainbow Flag made its grand debut at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. The flag instantly captured hearts and became an enduring symbol of the LGBTQ+ community’s resilience, diversity, and quest for equality.
Over time, the flag’s original eight-stripe—design evolved to the six-stripe version we recognize today. The flag’s six colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple—continue to represent the diverse experiences and identities within the LGBTQ+ community.