Gilbert Baker – sometimes referred to as “the Gay Betsy Ross” – is the artist and civil rights activist who designed the Rainbow Flag, a popular symbol of queer pride.

Baker first raised the  Rainbow flag during San Francisco Pride in 1978. The original version had eight colours, each with it

photo by Benson Kua

s own symbolic significance: hot pink to represent sexuality; red to represent life; orange to represent healing; yellow to represent sunlight; green to represent nature; turquoise to represent magic and art; blue to represent harmony; and violet to represent spirit.

The flag as been modified from Baker’s original design several times.  Because of challenges related to mass producing hot-pink and turquoise fabrics, a six colour version of the Rainbow flag is the version most commonly seen today.