July 26, 2017

Gilbert Baker, creator of the rainbow flag, dead at 65

02 April 2017, 01:19 | Elizabeth Houston

Gilber Baker, the creator of the iconic rainbow flag that has become a widely recognised symbol of LGBT rights, has died.

He served in the US Army 1970-1972, which stationed him in San Francisco just at the start of the gay liberation movement.

Milk rode triumphantly under the first Rainbow Flags Baker made at their debut on June 25th 1978, for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. He eventually taught himself to sew, combining his skills with activism early on, creating banners for protests on the fly, often at the request of his friend Milk.

Today, a giant rainbow flag flies at the junction of Castro and Market streets in San Francisco, near Harvey Milk Plaza, representing the rights of gay community people.

30, Baker was found unresponsive, a result of dying in his sleep, according to Baker's longtime friend, Cleve Jones, an AIDS activist. I can't stop crying.

Meanwhile, Baker's original flag was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NY, per Rolling Stone.

The civil rights activist was 65 years old. It also inspires the colors of the rainbow crosswalk on Santa Monica Boulevard.

"GayGod, you'd think I'd be a pro at losing the people I love by now".

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In 2015, New York's Museum of Modern Art called the flag a "powerful design milestone". According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Baker had died in his sleep at his home in NY.

Baker recently finished creating a nine color flag containing the original colors plus lavender to represent diversity to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the rainbow flag.

"Flags are about power", Baker told ABC7 news decades later.

The GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco wrote on its Facebook page that Gilbert had donated one of the sewing machines he used to create the flag.

"Pink is for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun", Baker told ABC7. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

As the gay-rights movement spread from San Francisco and NY in the 1970s, Mr. Baker was often asked by friends aware of his creative talents to make banners for protests and marches.

Current San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee said in a statement that the rainbow flag "has become a source of solace, comfort and pride for all those who look upon it".

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