On June 1, 2018 a new Rainbow Flag was raised over City Hall in Seattle, Washington. It adds the three colors from the Transgender Pride Flag to the six colors of the iconic LGBT Pride Flag and the two new colors introduced a year ago in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Last year, on June 8, 2017 an eight-color Rainbow Flag was raised in the City of Brotherly Love to raise awareness about people of color within the LGBT community. Above the traditional colors of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet – two new colors were added: black and brown.
Read more about the eight-color Philadelphia Pride Flag here.
The three new stripes in Seattle’s Rainbow Flag are powder blue, baby pink and white. These colors also feature in the Transgender Pride Flag designed by Monica Helms in 1999. Light blue and light pink are the traditional colors for baby boys and baby girls. According to Helms, the white color represents “those who are intersex, transitioning, or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender.”
I do not know if Monica Helms was consulted about including elements of her flag design into the new Rainbow Flag in Seattle. In 2014 she said that she felt the Rainbow Flag, originally designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978, “is the LGBTQ flag for everybody, and each individual group can have their own flag for their own individuality.”
Read more about the Transgender Pride Flag and its designer here.
The Seattle LGBTQ Commission together with other organizers explain the colors of the new Rainbow Flag: “The pink, light blue and white stripes represent trans, gender non-binary, intersex and folks across the gender spectrum.”
The eleven-color flag was raised for the first time on Friday to mark the LGBTQ Pride Month in Seattle by Jenny Durkan, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. In her speech she acknowledged the “colors of our black and brown brothers and sisters” as well as “the trans colors”. She said: “Our rainbow is even more beautiful than before”.
Read the news story about the new Rainbow Flag in Seattle here.
Just as the Philadelphia Pride Flag did last year, the new Seattle Pride Flag is sure to cause debate within the LGBT community and among flag experts and enthusiasts.
Some will argue that the 40-year-old six-color Rainbow Flag, a well branded and easily recognizable flag design, is and has always been a symbol of diversity and inclusion, in the same way as the rainbow contains a wide spectrum of colors. Others will argue that adding more colors is not only possible, but also necessary for raising awareness about groups of people within the LGBTI/queer community who are too often forgotten about, left out or discriminated against.
Read more about Gilbert Baker’s iconic Rainbow Flag from 1978 here.