The rainbow pride flag has gotten an update — at least in Philadelphia.
An organization in the city, More Color More Pride, has added a black stripe and a brown stripe to the iconic flag to recognize LGBTQ people of color. The updated flag was raised over city hall in Philadelphia on June 8.
"In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker designed the original rainbow flag," the organization explains on their website. "An iconic symbol of LGBTQ+ unity. So much has happened since then. A lot of good, but there’s more we can do. Especially when it comes to recognizing people of color in the LGBTQ+ community."
The black and brown stripes on this new, updated flag are meant to bring attention to injustice that queer people of color face both within and outside of the LGBTQ community.
Twelve transgender people of color have been murdered in the United States so far this year. Media continually whitewashes the LGBTQ community and sometimes even rewrites history to make gay, white men the heroes. Gay men of color face racism on online dating apps. LGBTQ youths of color are at disproportionate risk for homelessness, bullying, and sexual harassment. And today marks the one-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, an act of violence targeted to an LGBTQ club on Latin night that left 49 dead.
It's clear that LGBTQ people of color need more support and recognition. This campaign, which was initiated in Philadelphia but available nationwide, is just a step in that direction.
Updated flag merchandise is available on More Color More Pride's website, and the artwork is free for download for anyone creative enough to make their own swag.
“Seeing an image like this flag instills so much pride in me as a queer black woman. When I see the flag, I feel like I see myself,” Amber Hikes, Philadelphia's director of LGBT Affairs, told Philadelphia Gay News. "To me, this flag says: ‘We see you. We honor you. We celebrate you. You’re not just a part of us. You are us.’"
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