A new campaign has emerged with the goal of adding two new colors to the iconic rainbow flag.
The rainbow flag was initially designed by Gilbert Baker back in 1978. He orignally designed it to have eight colors, but hot pink and turquoise were hard dyes to find back then so they were removed.
Since then, the flag has had only six colors. Red to represent life, orange to represent healing, yellow to represent sunlight, green to represent nature, indigo to represent harmony, and violet to represent spirit.
But, groups in Philadelphia are looking to change that for the better.
The More Color, More Pride campaign is looking to add addition black and brown stripes to the flag in order to signify the inclusion of people of color who are often thought of as second in gay society.
The campaign's website says:
"To fuel this important conversation, we’ve expanded the colors of the flag to include black and brown. It may seem like a small step. But together we can make big strides toward a truly inclusive community,"
As for my thoughts:
In the gay community, we favor the muscular white male. That is just a fact. Look at the many pictures on this site as evidence.
As a gay, black male and as a writer for several gay websites, I am very aware of this reality. In addition, I am from the Philadelphia area, so I've seen firsthand the incidents of racism within Philly's gay community.
As such, I understand the message and the goal of these Philadelphia groups who want to add to the flag's colors.
That said, I just can't imagine changing the rainbow flag. The flag has had these six colors for nearly 50 years now. We've all grown used to seeing the flag as such. Its sacred in a way, and honestly adding those two colors looks weird to me.
That said, does that mean we can't ever change the flag?
For instance, the American flag is a symbol for the country, but its been changed before. In fact, its been changed 27 times.
Why can't the rainbow flag change too?
The point of adding these brown and black stripes is to remind ourselves of something. To remind ourselves that the point of the flag in the first place is to fight against discrimination and exclusion.
I need more time to wrap my head around the whole concept, but I'm not totally against it.
I need time to adjust from the "weirdness" of seeing the addition of those extra two colors, but I'm not disgusted by it.
I need time to decide which way I feel about the matter, but that doesn't mean I'm not proud that these groups suggested it.
What about you?
Update: I mentioned something down in the comments below that I wanted to include in the actual post.
Where I would have gone differently than this campaign would be to just include one single stripe to represent the concept of inclusion. Then we wouldn't have to worry about adding colors for every race. (Though, maybe you could say Indigo's harmony counts for that).