(Blogmensgo, gay blog of April 4, 2017) The American artist Gilbert Baker died on March 31st, 2017 at the age of 65 in New York where he had lived since 1994. In 1978, he created the Rainbow Flag as a symbol for the liberties and demands of the gay population. Together with Harvey Milk, he was one of the first openly gay council members in a major American city. The LGBT community is mourning his death, and shortly after the sad news, many people from all around the globe honored his life and work.
Beside his long-term companion Cleve Jones, Gilbert Baker became known as an activist in San Francisco. This is where he created his famous rainbow flag. The original version showed eight colors, later the pink was dropped and there were seven, and in 1979 there were only six colors left after indigo had merged with light blue.
Gilbert Baker was a fan of banners, flags and logos. Nevertheless, he never had the rainbow design patented because he considered it as public property, long before anyone was talking about “Creative Commons.”
He last appeared in the documentary drama When We Rise by Dustin Lance Black and Gus Van Sant, which tells the history of 50 years of battle for gay and queer rights.
In the interview below, Gilbert Baker explains the story behind the rainbow flag and how it became this universal symbol for diversity and the fight for equal right for everyone.
Frank-S / MensGo
Initial source: france24.com, April 1st, 2017.