The Colors of the Rainbow


2017_April_17_Photography_The Colors of the Rainbow (Kester_Abbey J)

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

 

Abbey Kester

The rainbow flag has come to mean many things since its creation in 1978. For many, it has been a sign of liberation, a single figure that they can believe in. The flag has a total of six colors. Each of the six colors on the flag all have their own significant meaning.

Image result for Gilbert Baker

Gilbert Baker. (Photo Credit: CNN)

Upon original conception, the flag consisted of eight colors. Hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. These colors represented sex, life, healing, sunlight, nature, art, harmony, and the human spirit respectively. The modern day flag only has six colors. This is because when the flag’s designer, Gilbert Baker, went to make the flag, he found that the hot pink dye was expensive. He then dropped the flag down to seven colors. However Baker didn’t like the odd number of stripes on the flag, so he decided to drop indigo as well and thus created the modern six colored flag.

Now the flag was not the first image that LGBTQ+ individuals have had to communicate their sexuality with others of the community. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, closeted gay men wore green carnations somewhere on their persons. This process was also used in Australia, but instead of green carnations, these men wore bright yellow socks. These two images were a positive form of identification, but the idea was taken in by Nazis during the holocaust.

Image result for pink triangle

Gay population in imprisonment camps. (Photo Credit: samesame)

When the holocaust was in full swing, a pink triangle was pinned to the gay population. These men were forced to stay in imprisonment camps during World War 2 and even after the war, each prisoner with a pink triangle was simply re-imprisoned by the allied-formed Federal Republic of Germany. The law that made homosexuality a felony was in place in both East and West Germany for another 24 years after the war. Despite this, the gay community reclaimed the symbol near the end of the 1970s.

These symbols mark the LGBTQ+ community. Also inside the community, there are many other flags that one can look at and find the meaning of. An example of this would be the bisexual pride flag. Its colors of pink, lavender, and blue represent the attraction to the same sex, the attraction to both sexes, and attraction to the opposite sex respectively. These other flags allow the other sexual and gender identities to distinguish themselves. While some people don’t know these flags, most people do know what the Rainbow flag is, and that it is a blanket representation of all LGBTQ+ people.

Works Cited

Wickman, Forrest. “How Did the Rainbow Become a Symbol of Gay Rights?” Slate Magazine. N.p., 26 June 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

“Pink Triangle.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Mar. 2017. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

“Bisexual Pride Flag.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Mar. 2017. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

 

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