The War Against the Pride Flag | Opinion

Photo via Unsplash.

As everyone knows, the most famous symbol of LGBTQ people and LGBTQ rights everywhere is the Rainbow Flag, also known as the Pride Flag.

Designed in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, with assistance from Lynn Segerblom (who now claims credit for coming up with the rainbow design) the six-colored stripes (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple) represent our community’s diversity. Baker’s creation became so popular that it superseded the lambda, the labrys, the pink triangle, the equality sign and other symbols. There is hardly a person alive today who does not recognize the Rainbow Pride Flag and what it stands for. Recently the flag has been revised to be more representative of minorities in our midst: Blacks, Browns, people with HIV (white) and trans people (light blue and pink).

In recent years, opposition to LGBTQ rights on the part of the religious and MAGA right was followed by efforts to take down the Pride Flag. During the recently finished school year districts in Utah, Oregon, Missouri, Florida, and other states have banned Pride Flags as political symbols and ordered teachers to remove them from their classrooms. Pride opponents tried to take their campaign to the state level, though there they have not been as successful. This has not stopped the Republican Party of Colorado from issuing a call to “burn all Pride flags” in a recent Pride Month message. They would agree with Martha-Ann Alito, wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who expressed annoyance at having to look at Pride Flags across the lagoon from her posh summer home.

Opponents of Rainbow Pride Flag have not shied away from using violence to achieve their goals. Just recently, flags celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month were vandalized in New York City, hardly a MAGA Mecca. Across the USA, Pride Flags and Rainbow Street Crossings have been damaged or destroyed. Last year, Laura Ann Carleton, a straight ally, was brutally murdered by a shooter who was apparently offended by the Pride Flag waving outside her business in Cedar Glen, California. And so it goes.

Why is there so much hatred against a piece of cloth? Because of what it stands for. The religious and political right in America want LGBTQ people to disappear; or at least to scurry back into our closets. The Rainbow Pride Flag, waving in the public sphere, reminds them that queer people are here; that we are proud; and that we are not going away. We know the stakes are hard, and we have our work cut out for us, to preserve our lives, our rights, and the flag that we hold dear.


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