Designed in 1978 by artist and activist Gilbert Baker (1956 to 2016), the rainbow flag has become one of most recognisable and universal symbols that has been embraced around the world helping to give visibility to LGBTQ+ people and the LGBTQ+ equality movement.
The original rainbow flag had 8 colours, each colour with a specific meaning; sex, life, healing, sunlight, nature, art, serenity and sprit. In 1979, the flag was adapted to the six colours still used today.
“A Rainbow Flag would be our modern alternative to the pink triangle. Now the rioters who claimed their freedom at the Stonewall Bar in 1969 would have their own symbol of liberation” – Gilbert Baker
At the height of the pandemic, and at a time of widespread homophobia, fear, political persecution and healthcare inequalities, the six stripe rainbow flag was an important symbol that showed unity and hope during a time of loss and mourning while simultaneously celebrating the strength and diversity of the community.
To this day, flying the rainbow flag is a simple act of activism, visibly showing solidarity and commitment to LGBTQ+ equality for people all around the word.
The rainbow flag remains a dynamic symbol, ever changing as the LGBTQ+ identity and community continues to grow and evolve. However, Positive East chooses to adapt our logo into the six colours that, for many, were an important symbol of pride during the height of the HIV pandemic throughout the 1980s and 90s.