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2-min read

LGBT Rainbow Flag Creator Gilbert Baker Dead

Gilbert Baker, the San-Francisco-based artist who created the rainbow flag as a symbol for the gay community, has died. He was 65.

IANS

Updated:April 1, 2017, 12:13 PM IST
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LGBT Rainbow Flag Creator Gilbert Baker Dead
File images of Rainbow Flag Creator Gilbert Baker. (Image: Getty Images)
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New York: Gilbert Baker, the San-Francisco-based artist who created the rainbow flag as a symbol for the gay community, has died. He was 65.

Baker died in his sleep at his home on Thursday night, BBC reported.

He initially designed an eight-colour flag in 1978 for the city's gay freedom day, the precursor to the modern pride parade.

A candlelight vigil was held on Friday night at Castro and Market streets in San Francisco, beneath his flag.


"Rainbows weep. Our world is far less colourful without you, my love. Gilbert Baker gave us the rainbow flag to unite us. Unite again," Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black tweeted.

California Senator Scott Weiner said Baker's work "helped define the modern LGBT movement".

"Rest in power, Gilbert," he said.

The former US Army soldier who taught himself to sew, proposed the rainbow flag at a time when San Francisco's gay and lesbian community was struggling to find a symbol to unite under.

He personally rejected other ideas: the pink triangle, a Nazi badge reclaimed by gay activists that Baker found depressing, and the Greek letter lambda, which he deemed too obscure, San Francisco Chronicle reported.

His flag was later reduced to six stripes, removing pink and indigo, and swapping blue for turquoise in the original one.


Baker said he wanted to convey the idea of diversity and inclusion, using "something from nature to represent that our sexuality is a human right".

New York's Museum of Modern Art in 2015 acquired the flag for its design collection, calling it a "powerful design milestone".

"I decided that we should have a flag, that a flag fit us as a symbol, that we are a people, a tribe if you will," Baker had told the Museum.

"And flags are about proclaiming power, so it's very appropriate."

(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Puja Menon
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