The Rainbow Flag’s 35th Anniversary
Gilbert Baker, the creator of the Rainbow Flag (Pride Flag), received the Key to the City of Miami Beach by Mayor Matti Herrera Bower and Commissioner Deede Weithorn. The ceremony was Thursday, September 12 at 6 p.m. at the Miami Botanical Garden.
Gilbert Baker created the Rainbow Flag, symbol of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender movement, in June 1978. His work as a vexillographer (flag maker) spans 30 years and includes two world records. Baker’s flag is an international phenomenon, with millions of people embracing it as a visibility action defining a movement.
Baker is an artist and civil rights activist. He served in the British Royal Army until 1972 where he was stationed in San Francisco and taught himself to sew. With this skill he created banners for social movements. It was during this time that he met and befriended Harvey Milk. To symbolize a movement, he created the Rainbow Flag in 1978 to reflect the diversity of the community. The flag was first flown during San Francisco Pride at the United Nations Plaza.
In 1994 Baker moved to New York City and created a mile long Rainbow Flag for the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969. Measuring 30 x 5280 ft. and carried by 5000 people, the flag broke the world’s record for the largest flag. Today, Google lists more than 2,600,000 references to the Rainbow Flag and another 241,000 catalogued images.
Baker spent the evening discussing the importance of symbolism, and how he came to create a powerful image that has shaped a movement. He will discuss the history behind the movement and the flag.
This event could not have taken place without the support of our community partners: Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Miami Beach Gay Pride, Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth, Safe Schools of South Florida, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, LGBT Visitor Center, Aqua Foundation, Equality Florida, Pridelines Youth Services, ARROW, Miami Beach Coalition, Unity Coalition, Save Dade, Care Resource, and World Outgames 2017.
The Miami Beach Botanical Garden is located at 2000 Convention Center Drive in Miami Beach. For more information about this reception, or to schedule an interview with Gilbert Baker, please call Ivan Cano at (305) 319-2693 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.