Studio 360, the wide-ranging cultural radio show hosted by Kurt Andersen, likes to conduct playful experiments centered on graphic design. With gay pride celebrations coming up at the end of June, the staff thought a "Gay Flag Makeover" might be fun. "Don't get us wrong, some of our best friends are rainbows," went the message posted on a Studio 360 Flickr page. "But we think it's time for a 21st century gay flag makeover. Should it be pink and sparkly? Subdued and stately?"
Some listeners were less than impressed. The rainbow flag, wrote one, is "sacred; people have literally died for openly displaying it. its history should be respected, and it should be left alone."
Under the subject line "Some Cheek," another listener suggested that the rainbow flag's evolution as a symbol deserved its own segment on the show: "There was a creator. There's a theory of the reasons for the colors in the flag. Nice job of COMPLETELY ignoring the history and symbolic resonance of a flag that people have marched with by the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS."
Other listeners predictably told the complainers to chill out. Suggestions for new flags have ranged from tweaks on the present design -- a gradually widening rainbow rising from bottom-left to upper-right, on a royal blue background, watched over by a pink sun, for example -- to utter redos. Among the latter are a version of the American flag with only six stars, each representing a state that has approved gay marriage, and a white flag depicting a large purple rhinoceros head (adorned with a small, red heart-symbol).
The latter may hold some nostalgic value for older Bostonians. A related purple rhino appeared on posters in Boston in the 1970s as a gay-pride emblem, though it failed to take off nationally. The idea was that the rhino was a misunderstood beast: more gentle than generally believed but quite powerful when roused to anger.
Via The Awl
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