The Journal Gazette
Saturday, June 12, 2021 1:00 am

Fabric of a move for equality

June is Pride Month – the annual commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City.

That was “a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States,” according to the Library of Congress, and now an original symbol of the fight for equal rights is back on display.

Activist Gilbert Baker created the first two Pride Flags – 30-foot by 60-foot rainbow banners – for the 1978 Gay Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco. One was stolen and the other feared lost.

Baker saved a portion of one of the flags, however, and that's the centerpiece of an exhibition called “Performance, Protest and Politics: The Art of Gilbert Baker” at the GLBT Historical Museum and Archives in San Francisco.

“For LGBTQ people, there are few artifacts that carry the historic, political and cultural significance of this seminal work of art, the original rainbow flag,” Gilbert Baker, Foundation President Charley Beal and Terry Beswick, executive director of the GLBT Historical Society, said in a joint statement provided to “We trust that its message of diversity, liberation and hope will continue to inspire queer people for generations to come.”

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