Features Saturday, June 27, 2015 - 05:30
From the Whitehouse to brands like Coca Cola and social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, just about everything and everyone is adorning rainbow colours to celebrate the historic judgment by the US Supreme Court legalising same-sex marriages. So how did rainbow colours come to symbolise the LGBT movement ? It started in 1978 when Harvey Milk, the first openly elected gay person to public office told Gilbert Baker a vexillographer (flag maker) to create a flag for the LGBT movement. Baker told refiner.49,  “Until we had a flag, the symbol for our movement was the pink triangle, which was put on us by Hitler and the Nazis,” Baker says. “The triangle came from a very negative, terrible place. We needed something that expressed our beauty, our soul, our love — that came from us and wasn’t put on us.  In November 1978, San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk was assassinated. People across the city decided to flow Baker’s flag as a sign of respect. Photo courtesy- Ouch.gr The first  hand-stitched and hand-dyed flag had eight colours. Pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic, blue for serenity and purple for spirit.  Pink and turquoise were later dropped as commercial production grew and the two colors were not part of standard colour palette. Listen to the history of the flag in Baker’s own words.