By Sarah Rincon

         The rainbow was chosen to represent the LGBTQ community by Gilbert Baker a gay artist who wanted to make a proud statement through the symbol that signified diversity. He believed that the rainbow was the best choice because it was found in nature. Gilbert Baker was sought out in the late 70’s by Harvey Milk an openly gay official of the United States who asked Gilbert to come up with a symbol for the LGBTQ community. In 1978 the first LGBTQ flag were manually made. The original LGBTQ flag contained hot pink, turquoise and indigo containing eight colors. Due to mass production these colors had to be taken out. Therefore, today the LGBTQ flag only contain six colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet).

Common questions about the rainbow symbol

  1. Do the colors have a specific meaning? 

    Yes, each color according to Gilbert had a specific meaning attached to it. Here is the breakdown.

    Red: life

    Orange: healing

    Yellow: sunlight

    Green: nature

    Blue: art & harmony

    Violet: spirit

   2. In what year was the rainbow officially accepted as the LGBTQ symbol?

 Although the original rainbow flag with eight colors was used in 1978’s San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day parade. It was until 16 years late in 1994 that the rainbow flag was accepted as the symbol for the LGBTQ community.

   3. Is the rainbow flag only a representation for the LGBTQ community in the United States?

No, the LGBTQ flag is represented internationally as the LBGTQ symbol.



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