Saturday, 1 April 2017

Candlelight vigil to honour rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker

A candlelight vigil will take place later to remember the creator of the rainbow flag, Gilbert Baker, who's died at the age of 65.

The vigil will happen under the giant rainbow flag which flies at the junction of Castro and Market street in San Francisco, near Harvey Milk Plaza.

It's planned to start at 7pm local time (2am Sunday morning, GMT).

Baker created the international symbol of LGBT+ rights in 1978, when he stitched eight hand-dyed strips of vibrantly coloured fabric together into a rainbow flag.

Cleve Jones, a friend and gay rights advocate confirmed his death, he said Baker had suffered a stroke several years ago, but had not been sick recently.

The rainbow flag was designed before Gay Pride in San Francisco in 1978, following the assassination of city supervisor and gay rights leader Harvey Milk.

Milk had been among advocates who had asked Mr Baker to create a symbol to represent the gay rights movement.

The eight colours represent eight different things:
The first flag was unveiled on June 25 1978, after volunteers helped Baker piece it together in the attic of the Gay Community Centre in San Francisco.

Baker created what is now an international symbol of the LGBT+ movement, flags are regularly placed on government, and other buildings as a show of solidarity with LGBT people.

The flag is so widely recognised that it even has it's only emoji on social media, showing just how important the symbol has become, worldwide.

In recent weeks Baker finished creating a new nine-colour rainbow flag, adding lavender to his creation to represent diversity, to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the original flag.

Though Baker died in New York on Thursday night, the news didn't break until last night, and the LGBT community responded, taking to social media to pay tribute and show appreciation...

Of course we can't all be at the candlelight vigil, though I certainly wish I could attend to pay my respects.

But in the social media age we can do simple things to remember Gilbert Baker.

So how about this - simply place the rainbow flag emoji on your Twitter bio or adding a rainbow filter to your profile picture.

No comments:

Post a Comment