The Rainbow Flag—also known as the LGBT flag—is a symbol of pride and activism for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. The original flag was first unfurled on June 25, 1978, at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. The design was conceived by Gilbert Baker who admired the universality of the rainbow as a “natural flag . . . from the sky.” Today the flag is most widely seen with six colored stripes, each imbued with meaning: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for serenity, and violet for spirit.
A gift of the designer, the timing in June 2015 of MoMA’s acquisition could not have been more serendipitous: on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its historic decision that legalized same-sex marriage across the country—and thirty-eight years to the day after the flag’s San Francisco debut—the Rainbow Flag was raised at MoMA as part of the design collection exhibition This Is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good.
Gallery label from 2015.